GROUNDSEL TREE

Baccharis halimifolia 

Groundsel Tree, Baccharis halimifolia or sea myrtle is a beautiful silver shrub of sandy shorelines and salt marshes and the only native eastern species in the Aster family to reach tree size. These plants produce pretty white flowers from August to October, which then turn into stunning sets of achenes (dry, one-seeded fruits) resembling flowing tufts of silvery feathers or paintbrushes in purplish red.  Immensely resilient to salt exposure and sand, this shrub can grow to 16 feet tall, and one of the few native shrubs suitable for landscaping along the shore.

It can be extremely useful for erosion control, and its flowers are popular among pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects. Wildlife, including songbirds, make use of these shrubs for cover from predators, often while snacking on its seeds, which are an important food source for many birds.

Baccharis is the Roman name (derived from the god Bacchus which the Greeks invented and called Dionysus) of a plant with fragrant roots. The Latin species name means with the leaves of “Halimus,” an old name for Saltbush.  If you are on the Ocean look no further.

 

SPECS: Genus: Baccharis ; Species: Halimifolia ; Plant Type: Shrub, Tree; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade; Soil Moisture: Wet, Medium Wet, Mesic (middle); Height: 5′ — 16′; Spread: 7′; Plant Spacing: 3′ — 5′; Bloom Time: August — October; Bloom Color: White; Advantages: Birds, Erosion control, Forage production, Low maintenance, Medicinal uses, Perfect for rain garden, Pollinator conservation, Privacy screen, Showy; USDA Zone: 7 — 10; Attracts: Beneficial insects, Bumblebees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Songbirds; Tolerant: Drought, Dry soils, Flooding, Heat & humidity, Salt, Wet soils; Plant Community: Prefect for your rain garden, along streams and your ocean fronting bluffs;