Baccharis halimifolia

Common Name: eastern baccharis 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: North America, South America
Zone: 5 to 10
Height: 3.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Wet Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in evenly moist to wet, sandy to loamy, well-draining soils in full sun. Tolerant of a wide range of conditions including poor, shallow, rocky, clayey, dry or wet soils, brackish waters and salt-spray. Easily grown from seed. Hardy in Zones 5-10

Noteworthy Characteristics

Baccharis halimifolia, commonly called eastern baccharis, salt bush, or groundsel bush, is a fast-growing, medium to large, deciduous shrub native to the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains of the eastern and southern United States. It typically grows in exposed, sandy areas, salt marshes, roadsides, ditches, and other open, disturbed sites. Mature specimens take on a highly branched, rounded to upright form and can reach up to 10' tall (occasionally to 15' or more) with an equal spread. Some single-trunked individuals may take on the growth habit of a small tree. The grey-green foliage is elliptic to rhombic in shape with small lobes and can reach up to 2" long and 1.5" wide. The surfaces of the leaves are dotted with resinous glands. Large, panicle-like inflorescences bearing dense clusters of small, white florets bloom on the terminal ends of the branches from late summer into fall. This plant is dioecious, meaning female and male flowers bloom on separate individuals. The seeds mature in fall and are topped by a silvery-white, feathery pappus that aids in wind dispersal. Female plants can be readily distinguished from males during fruiting. The flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, and other insect pollinators. The densely branched habit of this plant provides nesting habitat and cover for birds and other animals. This plant was introduced in Europe and Australia as an ornamental in the late 1800s to early 1900s and is now considered invasive in some areas.

Genus name in honor of Bacchus, the god of wine.

The specific epithet halimifolia means "having leaves resembling Atriplex halimus", possibly in reference to the grey-green color and resinous glands of the foliage of both species.

The common name groundsel bush refers to the similar appearance of the tufts of pappus on mature seedheads of this species and those of common groundsel (Senecio vulgaris).


No pest or disease problems of note. This plant spreads easily from seed and can become quite aggressive in garden settings. The leaves are toxic to livestock if ingested in large quantities.


Best used along the edges of ponds, retention basins, rain gardens, or other open, wet sites. Suitable for seaside gardens or other areas with saline conditions. Can also be pruned as a hedge or trained into a single-trunked form. Can become quite aggressive in garden settings if female plants are present.