Plant Profile: Tree Groundsel (Baccharis halimiifolia)
Female Tree Groundsel
A native of coastal United States from Massachusetts to Florida and west to Texas, tree groundsel is a shrub or small tree that blends into the background until it bursts into bloom in the fall. Clusters of male and female flowers are produced on different plants and can be distinguished by color and form; male flowers are greenish yellow, while female flowers are white with conspicuous long hairs (pappus). The fruits are small but bear long hairs for wind-dispersal and can create a litter problem. The sage green leaves are semi deciduous, one to three inches long, irregularly shaped, and often notched at the apex. The numerous branches are well spaced and the bark on the trunk develops attractive fissures. Tree groundsel is especially valued for its salt and wind tolerance as well as its ability to do well in lean, wet soils. Once it is established it exhibits high drought tolerance so is an excellent choice for difficult sites.
Type: Semi-deciduous small tree or shrub
Outstanding Features: Salt, wind, dry and wet soil tolerance.
Form: Upright, rounded or oval canopy
Growth Rate: Moderate to rapid
Bloom: Clusters of small yellow male flowers and white female flowers are produced on different plants in fall.
Size: 15’ h x 14’ W
Light: Full sun
Soil: Infertile, wet ; drought tolerant when fully established
Hardiness: Zones 4-11
Care: Prune immediately after flowering
Pests and Diseases: Leaf beetles, scale, sootymold
Propagation: Seed, soft or hardwood cuttings