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Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus facts for kids

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Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus
Scientific classification

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus is a species of shrub in the daisy family of the Americas known by the common names yellow rabbitbrush and green rabbitbrush.


The plant is widespread across of North American in much of the western United States and western Canada, from British Columbia and Montana south to California and New Mexico, with a few populations in the Black Hills of South Dakota and in western Nebraska, as well as in South America in the Andean valleys of Chile and Argentina.

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus grows easily in alkaline and saline soils, and thrives on soils that are rich in calcium. It rapidly establishes in disturbed habitat, including burns, flooded washes, and rockslides, so it is a valuable shrub for revegetating damaged land such as overgrazed rangeland and abandoned mining areas.


Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus grows up to about 150 cm (59 in; 5 ft) in height, with spreading, brittle, pale stem branches. The leaves are up to a few centimeters long and may be thin and thread-like or up to a centimeter wide and oblong. They are glandular, resinous, and sticky.

The inflorescence is a bushy cluster of flower heads, each head one-half to one centimeter long. The flower head is lined with sticky yellow-green phyllaries and contains several yellowish protruding flowers.

The fruit is a hairy achene a few millimeters long with a wispy pappus at the tip. The species grows in sagebrush and woodland habitat

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus contains an unusual m-hydroxyacetophenone derivative, named viscidone, and chromanone derivatives.


It is a larval host to the sagebrush checkerspot and it is an important nectar source in the fall.

Subspecies and varieties

Subspecies and varieties include:

  • Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus subsp. axillaris (D.D.Keck) L.C.Anderson — desert slopes in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah
  • Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus subsp. lanceolatus (Nutt.) H.M.Hall & Clem.Pennington County in South Dakota
  • Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus subsp. planifolius L.C.AndersonArizona
  • Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus subsp. puberulus (D.C.Eaton) H.M.Hall & Clem. — alpine zones in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah
  • Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus subsp. viscidiflorusalpine talus in most of the species range
  • Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus var. latifolius
  • Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus var. serrulatus (Torr.) GreeneUtah, Nevada
  • Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus var. stenophyllus
  • Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus var. viscidiflorus
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