University of Maryland Extension

Groundsel bush, High-Tide bush, Sea myrtle

Photo & Text by Marian Hengemihle

Baccharis halimifolia

In late summer/early fall when little else is in bloom, this multistemmed shrub takes center stage in your landscape.  From September into October female plants produce fluffy white seedheads resembling silvery paintbrushes above its gray-green coarsely toothed foliage. Groundsel bush makes a nice backdrop for fall blooming asters and goldenrods, and its salt tolerance is especially appreciated by seaside gardeners. Growing about 6-12 feet high and wide with a rounded airy habit, this native deserves a spot in naturalized landscapes, wetlands, or as an accent in an ornamental bed. It prefers moist soils in full sun to partial shade but is drought tolerant once established.  This shrub can get leggy and responds well to pruning in the spring. Deer do not bother it. 


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