Gardening
in Tucson, Phoenix,
and Southern California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, and Southern California

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Ericameria laricifolia: Turpentine Bush

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Description
Form: Shrub.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Slow.
Mature Size: 3' high and 5' wide.
Flowers: Dense, bright-yellow disks and rays, at ends of stems, covering entire plant.
Bloom: October to November. Reduced bloom in high rainfall years.
Fruit: Tufted, wind bourn seeds similar to those of dandelion.
Leaves: Dense, dark green, very narrow, flat, have brush-like appearance and turpentine-like smell if crushed. With excess rain or watering, a slight smelly, oily residue can be imparted to the touch. In dry conditions, no oily residue is present.
Stems: No thorns.
Wildlife: Attracts bees and other insects. Not browsed by mammals.
Toxic / Danger: Plant is slightly more flammable than most. Keep 15' away from structures.
Origin: Native to Southwestern United States and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 7-10.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to very light afternoon shade. Leggy and unattractive in part shade.
Water once established: Deep water every month or two during drought.
Soil: Well drained, pH 6.6-7.8 (neutral to slightly alkaline). Best in neutral soil.
Prune: If looking ragged after five years, cut to ground in winter. It will grow back in spring, looking well trimmed.
Litter: No.
Propagation: Fresh seed.
Uses: Ornamental.

Comments
An attractive, tough, hardy, trouble-free shrub with a spectacular fall show. The black with white stripes insect is a diurnal Tiger Moth known as Ctenucha venosa: Veined Ctenucha.



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