Coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) is a dominant shrub at the Los Cerritos Wetlands and most other wetland communities.Unlike most plants, Coyote brush has separate male and female plants! The females bloom white fluffy, whitish green, and glistening flowers and males have yellowish flowers that are stubbier, short, flattish, with a creamy white color. The plant in the picture is a female.
The sexy part: The male and female flowers must be in contact from wind dispersal after each is pollinated by honey bees or Argentine ants to produce seed (obligate outcrosser).
Other Fun Facts
- Baccharis derives from the Greek word "bakkaris", referring to plants with fragrant roots
- pilularis refers to the sticky globs on its flower buds
- Native Americans used the heated leaves to reduce swelling, and the wood to make arrow shafts and houses
- Coyote Bush appears after fire or grazing in chaparral and coastal sage scrub plant communities (pioneer species)