Chamisa, Rubber Rabbit-brush

Ericameria nauseosa

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ericameria (er-ik-kam-MEER-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: nauseosa (naw-see-OH-suh) (Info)
Synonym:Chrysothamnus frigidus
Synonym:Chrysothamnus nauseosus
Synonym:Chrysothamnus nauseosus var. typicus
Synonym:Ericameria nauseosa subsp. nauseosa



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cameron, Arizona

Huntington, Arkansas

Acton, California

Arroyo Grande, California

Montrose, Colorado

Albuquerque, New Mexico (2 reports)

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Altamont, Oregon

John Day, Oregon

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 12, 2013, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a common plant in my area (inland California high desert) where the countryside becomes a sea of gold in October to November. Plants grow here anywhere from just a foot tall to over 7' tall. Plants get nearly 0 water in this area (none at all from March or April on) yet still have enough left in them to bloom like crazy 6-8 months after the last drop of water hit the ground.... truly amazing plants.

This plant is nearly indistinguishable, at least in photos, from the other rabbitbrush in this area. Though that one is a different species (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus) and tends to be much shorter (rarely over 2' tall). I really need to see them side by side in real life to finally feel good about which is which, but it seems any large Chamisas in our area are suppo... read more


On Aug 15, 2006, pajaritomt from Los Alamos, NM (Zone 5a) wrote:

Chamisa grows wild along the roadsides here and can become invasive if not carefully controlled in landscapes. Multiplies by seed and by underground runners. The brilliant gold color of the flowers are absolutely magnificent in the fall, though they are the source of hay fever for many. I love this plant but try to keep it out of my yard.

A friend went to her allergist recently and was told that the pollen on chamisa was to large to cause hay fever, but that when it bloomed many other plants which do cause hay fever bloom, too. It is a marker plant. And all these years I blamed it for my fall hay fever.


On Mar 26, 2005, Chuck1260 from Arroyo Grande, CA wrote:

Interesting plant with aromatic, gray green foliage and yellow flowers. It is very undemanding in its care. Mine is about three feet tall after two years.


On May 14, 2004, docaly from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

Native distribution of "Chamisa" or "Rubbery Rabbitbrush" as is commonly called in SW US is western North America: western Canada to CA, TX and northern Mexico.

Thrives in 3000-8000' elevation in dry, open areas. Often used as an accent, color foil, unsheared hedge/border or mass planted. Flower is sulfur to golden yellow dense clusters of feathery discs. Showy from 2-4 weeks in length depends on precipitation in Sept & Oct. Blooms fade to straw color. Foliage is blue-green with linear leaf structure, very often evergreen (can be deciduous in colder zones). Stems are woolly white, which is a nice contrast to its foliage. Seed is airborne with the pappus attached.

Other uses include erosion control, historical and contemporary use as a dye.

... read more