Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Ericameria laricifolia:
Turpentine Bush

social icons Facebook Pinterest Instagram

Form: Shrub.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Slow.
Mature Size: 3' high and 5' wide.
Flowers: Dense, bright-yellow disks and rays, at the ends of stems, covering the entire plant.
Bloom: October to November for four weeks. Blooming is delayed by high temperatures and reduced in high rainfall years. In years with little to no rain, blooming may not occur.
Fruit: Tufted, wind-borne seeds.
Leaves: Dense, dark green, very narrow, flat, with a 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, butterflies, and other insects. Not browsed by mammals.
Toxic / Danger: This plant is slightly more flammable than most. Keep it 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. It becomes 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). It looks best in neutral soil.
Prune: If looking ragged after five years, cut to the ground in winter. It will grow back in the spring, looking well trimmed.
Litter: No.
Propagation: Fresh seed.
Uses: Ornamental.

This plant is a member of the Aster family (Asteraceae). An attractive, tough, hardy, trouble-free shrub, it puts on a spectacular fall show. The butterfly species is Variegated Fritillary. The black and white striped insect is a diurnal Tiger Moth known as Ctenucha venosa: Veined Ctenucha.

Do you have additional information or a different experience for these plants that you would like to share? Email All contributions are welcome and appreciated.

Ericameria laricifolia: Turpentine Bush - flowers with butterflies

Ericameria laricifolia: Turpentine Bush - with Tiger Moth

Ericameria laricifolia: Turpentine Bush - seeds

Ericameria laricifolia: Turpentine Bush in bloom

Ericameria laricifolia: Turpentine Bush

Latest update: November, 2020
© 2008-2024 by