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 a native plant that drives me crazy too with it’s ability to pop up where I don’t want it. In habitat Brickellia floribunda or brickell bush is found in the rich soils of canyon bottoms and I suppose I should be flattered that I’ve created such nice rich soil for it to feel at home in. And of course it loves a good watered nursery mix, so I’m constantly pulling it from plants that I grow in our small nursery.
There are over 24 species of brickell bush in Arizona alone and some of them are quite attractive, but I’m sorry Brickellia floribunda, you drive me crazy. Maybe it’s payback for my teasing of my Sonoran Desert friends about desert broom.
A couple notes: in the photo that’s a brickell bush growing up beside my 46 chevy and 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 and hauling band equipment up and down Speedway Blvd and 4th Ave. We had some good adventures with it out in the desert as well.