Red Butte Photo of the Day September 15, 2009

Submitted September 15, 2009 at 7:34 AM

Rubber Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus)Rabbitbrush

Rubber rabbitbrush can be found growing throughout the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, Sonoran Desert and from lowlands to sub-alpine zones. It grows in sunny, open locations in a variety of habitats such as moist drainage, dry deserts, plains and mountains. It is very common to find on disturbed land. Dense stands of rubber rabbitbrush usually indicate poor range management.

Wildlife and livestock browse lightly upon its branches when other food sources are available, but will heavily hedge the shrub when other sources of food are depleted.

Native Americans were said to have made a chewing gum from mashed wood and bark. They also used the leaves for a tea, cough syrup and for chest pains.

Rubber Rabbitbrush is an excellent shrub to plant in your water-wise garden. It grows 2-6 feet high and wide. Bright golden flowers appear in late summer and continue into fall. It prefers well drained soil, but can tolerate a wide range of soil types. If it becomes too large for the garden, it can be sheared back each year.

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