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Adenostoma fasciculatum
About Chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum) Nurseries Show All Photos Chamise or Greasewood, a member of the Rose family, is a flowering plant native to California and northern Baja California. This shrub is one of the most widespread plants of the chaparral biome, sometimes forming monotypic stands. It is an evergreen shrub growing to four meters tall, with dry-looking stick-like branches. The leaves are small, 4-10 millimeters long and one millimeter broad with a pointed tip, and sprout in clusters from the branches. The leaves are shiny with flammable oils, especially in warmer weather. It is said to be highly flammable but can be kept fire-resistant by occasional watering. The branches terminate in bunches of white tubular flowers five millimeters in diameter, with five petals and long stamens. Chamise is one of the best plant for anchoring a slope and resisting erosion due to its wide spreading and deeply penetrating roots. In maturity it develops a large burl from which it will resprout after fire or severe pruning. In the wild it is the host plant of a common root parasite, Chaparral Broomrape. There are three recognized Varieties: Adenostoma fasciculatum var. fasciculatum is found throughout the range of the species. Adenostoma fasciculatum var. obtusifolium is found only in San Diego and Orange Counties. Adenostoma fasciculatum var. prostratum, a low-growing form, is found primarily on the northern Channel Islands. A cultivar known as 'Black Diamond' (Adenostoma fasciculatum 'Black Diamond') is popular and widely available.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3 - 13.1 ft (0.9 - 4 m)

Max. Width
1 - 8 ft (0.3 - 2.4 m)

Upright, Rounded


Growth Rate


Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry slopes and flats, usually higher than coastal sage scrub and below woodlands, from the coast to desert transition


Elevation ?
-261' - 10807'

Annual Precip. ?
7.7" - 89.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.99"

Coldest Month ?
25.1° F - 57.2° F

Hottest Month ?
48.3° F - 83.7° F

Humidity ?
0.09 vpd - 34.59 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of sand and clay

Soil Texture
Loamy Sand, Sand, Sandy Loam

Soil PH
5.0 - 8.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Sunset Zones ?
7*, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Any chaparral plants make good companions including Toyon, Lemonade Berry, Manzanita species, Scrub Oaks, Yucca species, various cactus species, native bunch grasses, and geophytes such as Mariposa Lilies.

Wildlife Attracted
Various birds and insects

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low, Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
1x/month, 2x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Seeds collected from plants, no treatment. Seeds collected from duff, hot water. Alternative treatments: burn a 1" thick layer of pine needles or excelsior over the seed bed, oven heat of 212°F for 5 mins. (Stone and Juhren 1953; or soak in 10% H2S04 for 15 mins.

Common uses
Hedges, Bank Stabilization, Groundcovers, Bird Gardens, Deer Resistant, Bee Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Common Chamise, Greasewood

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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