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chamisa, common rabbit-brush, gray rabbitbrush, rabbitbrush, rubber rabbitbrush

Habit Plants 10–250 cm.

erect or ascending to spreading, white to green, fastigiately branched, tomentose.


(usually crowded) usually ascending to spreading;

blades filiform to narrowly oblanceolate (mostly adaxially sulcate to concave), 10–70 × 0.3–10 mm, midnerves mostly evident, apices acute, faces glabrous or tomentose, often gland-dotted (lacking well-defined circular pits);

axillary fascicles absent.


1–20 mm (bracts usually 0, sometimes 1–5, reduced, scalelike).


obconic to subcylindric, 6–16 × 2–4 mm.

Ray florets


Disc florets


corollas 6–12 mm.


10–31 in 3–5 series (often in vertical ranks), tan, ovate to lanceolate, 1.5–14 × 0.7–1.5 mm, strongly unequal, mostly chartaceous (mostly keeled), midnerves raised for nearly entire lengths, expanded apically, apices acute to obtuse, abaxial faces resinous.


in rounded to flat-topped, cymiform arrays (to 12 cm wide).


tan, turbinate to cylindric or oblanceoloid, 3–8 mm, glabrous or hairy (often ± pilose or sericeous);

pappi whitish, 3–13 mm.


= 18.

Ericameria nauseosa

from FNA
AZ; CA; CO; ID; KS; MT; ND; NE; NM; NV; OK; OR; SD; TX; UT; WA; WY; AB; BC; SK; nw Mexico
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Varieties 21 (21 in the flora).

Ericameria nauseosa is widespread, often abundant, and complex. This treatment is based largely on that by L. C. Anderson (1986b). Uncertainty about the specimen used by Pursh to establish E. nauseosa (as Chrysocoma nauseosa) is a possible source of confusion concerning the application of that name (which is in current use) and of the name Chrysothamnus speciosus Nuttall (J. L. Reveal et al. 1999). Anderson divided the species into two informal groups, the “green forms” and the “gray forms.” These two groups were formalized as subspp. nauseosa and consimilis by G. L. Nesom and G. I. Baird (1993), each containing varieties. Ericameria nauseosa is reported to hybridize with other species in the genus, and hybrid and formula names have been applied to them. Their synonymies were more fully summarized by Nesom and Baird.

Ericameria ×bolanderi (A. Gray) G. L. Nesom & G. I. Baird, based on Linosyris bolanderi A. Gray is the hybrid between E. discoidea and E. nauseosa (L. C. Anderson and J. L. Reveal 1966).

Ericameria ×uintahensis (L. C. Anderson) G. L. Nesom & G. I. Baird, “Uinta rubber rabbitbrush,” based on Chrysothamnus nauseosus subsp. uintahensis L. C. Anderson, is the hybrid between E. nauseosa and E. parryi (L. C. Anderson 1984).

Ericameria ×viscosa (D. D. Keck) G. L. Nesom & G. I. Baird, based on Chrysothamnus nauseosus subsp. viscosus D. D. Keck, is the hybrid between E. cuneata and E. nauseosa (L. C. Anderson 1986b).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Cypselae glabrous
→ 2
1. Cypselae hairy (± pilose or sericeous, only distally in var. washoensis)
→ 11
2. Style appendages shorter than or equaling stigmatic portions
→ 3
2. Style appendages longer than stigmatic portions
→ 4
3. Corolla lobes 1.5–2.5 mm
var. oreophila
3. Corolla lobes 0.6–1.3 mm; Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, Texas
var. texensis
4. Corolla lobes villous
→ 5
4. Corolla lobes glabrous
→ 6
5. Plants 60–150 cm; involucres 10–12.5 mm; inner phyllary apices acute to obtuse; sandy gravels of dry streambeds, c, ne Arizona, New Mexico, Utah
var. nitida
5. Plants 40–60 cm; involucres 11.2–16 mm; inner phyllary apices acute to short-acuminate; dunes and deep sands, nw Arizona, e Nevada, Utah
var. turbinata
6. Phyllary abaxial faces (at least outer) tomentulose or scurfy-tomentulose
→ 7
6. Phyllary abaxial faces usually glabrous (outer sometimes sparingly hairy in var. oreophila)
→ 8
7. Stems nearly leafless (at flowering); leaves 15–30 × 0.5–1 mm; phyllary apices acute to acuminate
var. bigelovii
7. Stems leafy; leaves 30–50 × 1–1.5 mm; phyllary apices acute (outer) to frequently obtuse (inner)
var. nitida
8. Stems often leafless (at flowering); phyllary apices acute to obtuse; corolla lobes 0.5–1.1 mm
var. leiosperma
8. Stems usually leafy; phyllary apices acute, acuminate, or cuspidate; corolla lobes 1.3–2.5+ mm
→ 9
9. Plants 10–20 cm; involucres 12–16 mm; gypsiferous shale, Sevier County, Utah
var. iridis
9. Plants 25–250 cm; involucres 6.5–12.5 mm; w United States (not on highly gypsiferous soils)
→ 10
10. Corolla lobes 1.3–1.5 mm; leaves 1–2 mm wide; ec Utah
var. psilocarpa
10. Corolla lobes 1.5–2.5 mm; leaves 0.8–1 mm wide; w UnitedStates
var. oreophila
11. Style appendages usually shorter than stigmatic portions (equaling or shorter in var. lastisquamea, about equaling in var. oreophila)
→ 12
11. Style appendages longer than stigmatic portions
→ 16
12. Corolla lobes 0.5–1 mm
→ 13
12. Corolla lobes 1.5–2.5 mm
→ 14
13. Phyllaries tomentose; well-drained, gravelly or sandy slopes; c, w Arizona, s California, s Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, se Oregon, Utah
var. hololeuca
13. Outer phyllaries densely tomentulose, inner glabrous; dry streambeds and arroyos; se Arizona, New Mexico
var. latisquamea
14. Phyllary apices recurved (s California)
var. ceruminosa
14. Phyllary apices erect
→ 15
15. Plants 10–30 cm; leaf blades 1–3 mm wide; Idaho, Oregon, Washington
var. nana
15. Plants 70–250 cm; leaf blades 0.8–1 wide; w United States
var. oreophila
16. Corolla lobes villous (sometimes sparsely)
→ 17
16. Corolla lobes glabrous
→ 20
17. Cypselae distally pilose; corolla lobes 1.3–1.6 mm; ne California, adjacent Nevada
var. washoensis
17. Cypselae hairy throughout; corolla lobes 0.7–0.9 mm; Arizona, c, s Nevada, Utah
→ 18
18. Stems usually leafless (at flowering); co-rollas 7–8.5 mm
var. juncea
18. Stems at least moderately leafy; corollas 9.5–11.8 mm
→ 19
19. Leaf blades 30–50 mm, faces glabrate; inner phyllary apices acute to obtuse; corolla lobes glabrous or villous; northern Arizona, ne New Mexico,s Utah
var. nitida
19. Leaf blades 10–20 mm, faces tomentulose to densely tomentose; inner phyllary apices usually acute to acuminate; corolla lobes villous; e Nevada, Utah
var. turbinata
20. Involucres 16–19 mm; phyllary apices ± recurved
var. arenaria
20. Involucres 6–14.5 mm; phyllary apices erect
→ 21
21. Stems nearly leafless (at flowering; s California, s Nevada)
var. mohavensis
21. Stems leafy
→ 22
22. Leaf blades 3–5-nerved, 3–6(–10) mm wide (mountains, Utah, Cache to Sevier counties)
var. salicifolia
22. Leaf blades 1–3-nerved, 0.3–3 mm wide
→ 23
23. Phyllaries usually glabrous, outer sometimes sparsely hairy
→ 24
23. Phyllaries usually hairy (at least outer, sometimes ± tomentose), rarely glabrous
→ 26
24. Corollas 10–12 mm; involucres 10–14 mm (s California)
var. bernardina
24. Corollas 6–9+ mm; involucres 6–10 mm
→ 25
25. Corolla lobes 0.6–1.5 mm; corolla tubes puberulent or glabrous; plains, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming eastward
var. graveolens
25. Corolla lobes 1.5–2.5 mm; corolla tubes glabrous; Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, w Wyoming
var. oreophila
26. Involucres 6–10 mm; corollas 6–9 mm
→ 27
26. Involucres 7.5–14 mm; corollas 8.7–13 mm
→ 28
27. Corolla tubes usually puberulent, rarely arachnose; plains and hills, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming
var. nauseosa
27. Corolla tubes glabrous; Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, w Wyoming (mostly Great Basin)
var. oreophila
28. Inner phyllary apices acute to obtuse; corolla lobes 0.7–1 mm (n Arizona, ne New Mexico, s Utah)
var. nitida
28. Inner phyllary apices acuminate to acute; corolla lobes 1.1–2.3 mm
→ 29
29. Stems yellowish green, becoming whitish, compactly tomentose; leaves yellowish green (s California)
var. bernardina
29. Stems whitish, loosely tomentose; leaves dark green to grayish white
var. speciosa
Source FNA vol. 20, p. 62.
Parent taxa Asteraceae > tribe Astereae > Ericameria
Sibling taxa
E. albida, E. arborescens, E. arizonica, E. bloomeri, E. brachylepis, E. cervina, E. compacta, E. cooperi, E. crispa, E. cuneata, E. discoidea, E. ericoides, E. fasciculata, E. gilmanii, E. greenei, E. laricifolia, E. lignumviridis, E. linearifolia, E. linearis, E. nana, E. obovata, E. ophitidis, E. palmeri, E. paniculata, E. parishii, E. parryi, E. pinifolia, E. resinosa, E. suffruticosa, E. teretifolia, E. watsonii, E. winwardii, E. zionis
Subordinate taxa
E. nauseosa var. arenaria, E. nauseosa var. bernardina, E. nauseosa var. bigelovii, E. nauseosa var. ceruminosa, E. nauseosa var. graveolens, E. nauseosa var. hololeuca, E. nauseosa var. iridis, E. nauseosa var. juncea, E. nauseosa var. latisquamea, E. nauseosa var. leiosperma, E. nauseosa var. mohavensis, E. nauseosa var. nana, E. nauseosa var. nauseosa, E. nauseosa var. nitida, E. nauseosa var. oreophila, E. nauseosa var. psilocarpa, E. nauseosa var. salicifolia, E. nauseosa var. speciosa, E. nauseosa var. texensis, E. nauseosa var. turbinata, E. nauseosa var. washoensis
Synonyms Chrysocoma nauseosa, Chrysothamnus nauseosus
Name authority (Pallas ex Pursh) G. L. Nesom & G. I. Baird: Phytologia 75: 84. (1993)
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