G.L. Nesom & G.I. Baird
All the subspecies of Ericameria nauseosa are superficially alike, varying only in characteristics that must be observed closely to perceive. Subspecies consimilis grows from 20"-100" tall with leafy yellowish-green stems and threadlike leaves 2-6cm long. The stems are often described as being gray-, greenish-yellow-, or white-tomentose, but I have observed both with this subspecies and var. bernardina that the tomentum, such as it is, is ± glued into a matrix forming a layer that appears solid but can be scraped off with a probe. In other words, it does not look at all tomentose. The leaves often seem to be somewhat inrolled. There are generally five flowers per head in a narrowly elongate inflorescence. Each flower has a glabrous often viscid involucre 6-8mm in length with phyllaries that are acute to obtuse and somewhat to sharply angled. This subspecies is fairly common on generally alkaline soils from 3000' to 9000' in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mts and in the Peninsular Range, blooming from August to October. Many hours of observation and analysis of San Gabriel specimens demonstrate that var. oreophila and var. mohavensis form a large intergrading complex, and even though I feel that the differences between them are not sufficient to warrant subspecific status, I am leaving them as separate in this website because all the floras list them that way. These pictures were taken in the parking area at the Mt. Baldy Ski Lift.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Ericameria