rough around the edges, lovely for the pollinators

e_laricifolia6.jpg

Turpentine bush
Ericameria laricifolia
Asteraceae

  • low WATER (Terrace to top ZONE)

  • full SUN

  • HARDY TO -10º F,

  • 2-3 feet tall and wide

  • bright yellow, nectar-rich flowers

  • LARVAL HOST TO THE hooded brown owlet

  • NECTAR SOURCE FOR BUTTERFLIES, MOTHS, BEES, and other insects


The more we get into the native species, and the look of the Arizona landscape, the more we love the plants that seem to new-comers as a little rough around the edges. We especially become enamored of these plants when they are important pollinator plants.

Turpentine bush is one of these plants. When blooming and in full nectar-releasing mode, these scruffy little bushes are often host to all sorts of activity: butterflies, native bees, beetles, and the organisms that eat them can all be found hanging about this dusty-green shrub.

The scruffiness of the plant is almost offset by the brightness of the yellow flowers, but will have tan seed heads after the bloom. Turpentine bush gets its common name from the resinous foliage that smells wonderful, and is especially noticeable after a good rain (much like creosote bush).

This plant is a larval host to the brown hooded owlet moth Cucullia convexipennis.

Katherine Gierlach