Barrett Wilson is a research assistant in horticulture for Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square.

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Eastern Baccharis
by Barrett Wilson       #Plant Profile

Eastern baccharis shows its rounded form in an informal setting.

Most gardeners probably don’t consider using our native Eastern baccharis in a home landscape. Often seen on roadsides and clearings, this low-maintenance shrub can make a striking impression on the early to mid-autumn landscape. Of particular interest is the white feathery pappus (hair-like appendages) on the fruit of female plants in October. As a dioecious species (having separate male and female plants), a nearby male pollinator is needed for fruit formation.

Eastern baccharis is best used on sites with poor soils or persistent wet conditions. Tolerant of salt spray, wet soils, heat and drought, it can thrive in areas where other ornamental shrubs struggle. A few superior cultivars exist, with ‘White Caps’ being one of the most readily available.

A close-up shows the feathery texture of the fruit.

Common Names: Eastern baccharis, salt bush, groundsel bush

Botanical Name: Baccharis halimifolia

Type: Shrub

Fruit: In October, fruit with showy
white pappus

Size: 8 to 13 feet in both height and spread

Exposure: Sun and part shade

Soil: Average, adaptable to wide range
of soil types

Watering: No additional requirement once established

Planting: In spring, at least 5 to 6 feet between plants

When to Prune: After flowering and fruiting, prune to maintain shape and remove dead wood

In Your Landscape: Native plantings with poor soils; wetlands and coastal areas



(From Pennsylvania Gardener Magazine Volume I Issue III. Photography By Barrett Wilson)


Posted: 11/11/11   RSS | Print


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