Ericameria laricifolia Turpentine bush

May 1, 2017 | Plant of the Month

Southwest Plant of the Month –  Ericameria laricifolia (A. Gray) Shinners 

Turpentine-bush is a broadly rounded 1-3 ft. shrub with profuse, small golden-yellow flower heads and dense greenery that turns golden in the fall. Leaves are clustered toward the stem tip and are short and leathery. They emit a tart lemony scent when rubbed gently. If rubbed harder, the leaves get gummy and smell like turpentine. This small shrub bears numerous tiny yellow flowers in late summer and fall.

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun, Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry, well-drained, granitic, sandy, clay loam, or limestone soils of low organic content
Use Ornamental: Good evergreen shrub for full sun in the Southwest, with aromatic leaves and eye-catching fall flowers. Can be arranged as a shrubby groundcover, a hedge, or a specimen plant.
Use Wildlife: Rabbits browse this plant. Leaves-rabbits, Seeds-granivorous birds, Nectar-insects
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes