Baccharis salicina Torrey & A. Gray

Willow Baccharis, Emory baccharis
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


Like other Baccharis species, willow baccharis is dioecious with its male and female flowers on different plants.  It is an erect, loosely-branched shrub that can grow up to 10' or 12' tall, with glabrous, sometimes sticky, ridged or striate branches.  It can generally be distinguished from its close relative, Baccharis pilularis, by its more open branching and inflorescences (see the last picture which shows the two species together), and a closer examination will reveal that the bracts on emoryi are usually linear and entire, while those on pilularis are usually obovate and sometimes toothed.  This is a difficult discrimination to be certain of given the variability in leaf shape for both species. The upper leaves are narrowly oblong with obtuse to almost acute tips, while the lower ones are cuneate to oblanceolate, 3/4" to 2" long, with
0-8 teeth or lobes usually in the distal half.  There are many flowering heads in paniculate clusters of 3-5, the involucres of pistillate heads being 1/4" to 3/8" high and those of the staminate heads being somewhat shorter and broader.  The phyllaries are in 5 to 7 series, ovate to lance-linear, glabrous and with an acute tip.  Emory baccharis typically occupies areas near streams, washes or salt marshes up to 2000' in coastal sage or creosote bush scrub from Baja to Ventura, Bakersfield and Death Valley, blooming from August to December.  These pictures were taken along the marsh in Upper Newport Bay.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Baccharis 2) salicina.
Pronunciation: BAK-ar-is sal-IS-in-a.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.
Formerly Baccharis emoryi.


This is the picture of Baccharis emoryi and Baccharis pilularis side-by-side with emoryi being the taller plant on the left. The identifications of these two species was confirmed 12/02/06 and Tom Chester has put an excellent analysis of them online at

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