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Bush Sunflower
Encelia californica
  
About Bush Sunflower (Encelia californica) 59 Nurseries Carry This Plant Bush Sunflower (Encelia californica) is a colorful, fast-growing shrub that is very easy to grow. A member of the Daisy family, its quick growth rate makes it a popular choice for new native and pollinator gardens. Gardeners sometimes choose to remove it after other plants become established. The large yellow flowers bloom from winter to spring and attract butterflies and bees. They are also attractive as cut flowers. After blooming, the seeds provide food for small, seed-eating birds.

Bush Sunflower grows best in full sun and tolerates different soil types. It is native to Southern California and is not cold-tolerant. It needs very little water and will normally go dormant in summer, although some supplemental irrigation can help keep it looking green. Cutting it back encourages healthy, compact new growth, and deadheading spent flowers can prolong the blooming season. As an aggressive spreader, it can crowd out other plants, but it is useful as a groundcover and on slopes.
Encelia californica - Native Plant Database. (n.d.). https://theodorepayne.org/nativeplantdatabase/index.php?title=Encelia_californica
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub

Size
Size
1.6 - 5 ft tall
3 - 7 ft wide

Form
Form
Mounding, Rounded

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Dormancy
Summer Semi-Deciduous,

Fragrance
Fragrance
Fragrant - Pleasant, Slight

Flower Color
Flower Color
Brown, Purple, Yellow

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Winter, Spring

Wildlife Supported
 
Numerous insects are attracted to the flowers, including butterflies and bees. Small birds such as goldfinches are attracted to the seed heads.

 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 2 confirmed , 1 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Part Shade, Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Very Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / week once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 30° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium, Slow

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerates a wide variety of soils. Tolerates Sodic Soil. Soil PH: 6 - 8

Common uses
Common uses
Groundcovers, Bank Stabilization, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Ceanothus tomentosus, California Sagebrush, Sugar Sumac, Lemonade Sumac, Coyote Broom, Chaparral Mallow, Sagebrush (Artemisia), Black Sage, White Sage, Chamise, Coyote Brush, California Buckwheat, Sticky Monkeyflower, Woolly Bluecurls, Scrub Oaks, Toyon, Dudleya spp, Yucca spp, various cactus species

Maintenance
Maintenance
No pest problems.. After it goes semi-deciduous in the summer, this plant can be cut to the ground and will come back nicely. Because of its tendency to sprawl or become floppy, it can also be pruned after flowering to encourage more flowers and more compact growth

Propagation
Propagation?
By seeds (self-seeds readily), softwood cuttings

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14*, 15, 16, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*,

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Slopes, bluffs, foothills and canyons primarily on the coastal side of the mountains from San Luis Obispo County to San Diego County and into northwestern Baja. Typically found on drier, south or west facing slopes as part of coastal sage scrub.

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 4.4" - 35.5", Summer Precipitation: 0.15" - 2.65", Coldest Month: 39.9" - 61.4", Hottest Month: 62.5" - 88.8", Humidity: 0.82" - 42.79", Elevation: -1648" - 5439"

Alternative Names
Common Names: California Brittlebush, California Encelia


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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