I can’t believe I almost let November go by without at least mentioning desert broom (Baccahris sarothroides). It is the native plant the folks love to hate, as it comes up in the desert where ever the soil has been disturbed. Drive through any new subdivision that took a desert spot around Tucson and just count the desert broom plants. Not only is it a prolific seed producer, but once established it is very tenacious with its deep tap root. Folks hate it, but the answer is simple: leave the desert alone. Whaa?!
Though we don’t have many desert broom right around our little homestead we do have Brickellia floribunda. In habitat Arizona Flora says that Brickellia floribunda or brickellbush is found in the rich soils of canyon bottoms. Hmm, I’ve seen it growing in mine tailings around Bisbee, so it seems a little more diverse in habitat than that. Around our place it comes up where ever it pleases and it does like a well watered nursery mix, so I’m constantly pulling it from plants that I grow in our small nursery. Wait a minute, maybe I should start selling them! I’ll be rich!
The photos are mine and that’s a brickellbush growing up beside my ‘46 Chevy, “The Yellow Rattle.” The other photo is of the bristly seed heads. And, by the way, if you lived in Tucson in the 1970’s you may have seen me driving that old truck around town hauling band equipment to various honky tonks. We had some great adventures with it out of town as well, out in the desert and in the hills.