Dry soils in open brushlands and woodlands
Western North America
No listed status
This species is
to the Truckee Meadows.
Rubber rabbitbrush is a round shrub that usually stands between 2 to 5 feet tall. These shrubs have bright yellow, tubular flowers arranged in bundles at the ends of their branches in groups of five. Aside from the flowers, rubber rabbitbrush is mostly a gray-green color with alternating leaves that have little hairs on them. They are late-flowering plants, flowering from August to October.
The Latin translation of rubber rabbitbrush's name comes directly from the plant's characteristics. Chrysos = gold and thamnos = shrub. Nauseosus = nauseating, as rubber rabbitbrush has a strong scent.
Rubber rabbitbrush is an important source of food for foraging animals across its native range. It is also an important plant for pollinators as it flowers later in the summer, therefore giving pollinators a pollen source when many other flowers have already died back.
During World War Two, this plant was studied as a substitute for commercial rubber. Even though rubber rabbitbrush produces high quality rubber, it was not economical to produce on a large scale since each individual plant only produces a very small amount of rubber.
In the Paiute language, rubber rabbitbrush is called Segoop.
Hugh N. Monzingo, Shrubs of the Great Basin, a Natural History, 1987, book.
U.S. Forest Service, Rubber Rabbitbrush, 2021, https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/ericameria_nauseosa.shtml
Pyramid Lake, The Paiute Language, 2021, http://www.numuinc.com/home/the-tribe/the-paiute-language/
Image: Cory Maylett, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rubber_rabbitbrush_01.jpg, license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/, cropped from original.
Image: Jason Hollinger, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rubber_Rabbitbrush_(1235893585).jpg, license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en, cropped from original.
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