Growth Form:Shrub, subshrub; large, aromatic plants; highly variable in characteristics; stems erect or ascending or spreading; the lower stems and branches may be woody, green, gray or white, both greenish and whitish varieties exist.
North America species range map for Rubber Rabbitbrush, Ericameria nauseosa:
North American range map courtesy of Virginia Tech, Dept. of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation
Click image for full size map
Genus Information: In North America there are 33 species and 33 accepted taxa overall for Ericameria. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 39 accepted species names and a further 244 of infraspecific rank for the genus.
As a whole, the members of the genus Ericameria are generally referred to as Goldenbush, Turpentine Bush, Rabbitbrush and Rabbitbush. They were all formerly described as Aplopappus, Haplopappus or Chrysothamnus.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 9 species of Ericameria, California has 22 species, Nevada has 15 species, New Mexico has 4 species, Texas has 2 species, Utah has 13 species. Hybrids exist. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
There are 2 sub-species in Ericameria nauseosa;
Ericameria nauseosa ssp. consimilis, has 9 varieties;
Ericameria nauseosa ssp. nauseosa has 15 varieties.
Comments: Rubber Rabbitbrush is a western species that is extremely variable in appearance with a complex taxonomic status that includes 2 sub-species and 24 varieties.
Rubber Rabbitbrush is a bright yellow late summer, fall bloomer that grows well in arid environments. Because of its low water requirements and compatibility with heavy alluvial soils it is often used in desert landscapes to achieve a more natural look.
As a whole, the members of the genus Ericameria are generally referred to as Goldenbush, Turpentine Bush, Rabbitbrush and Rabbitbush. They all were formerly described as Aplopappus, Haplopappus or Chrysothamnus.
The genus Ericameria species are used as food plants by the larvae of some butterfly species including those from the genus Schinia. Also, plants are browsed by rabbits. Seeds of Ericamerica nauseosa are eaten by birds and small mammals.