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Click to read about the various Rabbitbrush species in the Four Corners region.

Ericameria parryi.  Synonym: Chrysothamnus parryi.  (Parry's Rabbitbrush)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane. Open woodlands, meadows. Summer, fall.
Fish Creek Trail, August 9, 2005.
Wildcat Trail, August 28, 2007.

Ericameria parryi grows to a bit more than two feet tall and is found at woodland borders and in meadows.  Long, narrow, sometimes sticky leaves sometimes spiral, and flowers and flower heads are large compared to other members of the genus.  The often sticky phyllaries are 10+ millimeters long and slightly keeled and flowerheads are numerous in spike or raceme-like arrangements. 

There are a number of subspecies differing in the number of flowers per head, the hairiness of the leaves and stems, the height of the plant, etc.

Hall and Harbour are given credit for collecting this species on their 1862 Colorado trip led by the eminent botanist Charles Parry.  Asa Gray named the species Linosyris parryi in 1863, it was renamed Chrysothamnus parryi by Edward Greene in 1895, and it has had many other names since then, the latest and now most widely accepted being that given by Nesom and Baird in 1993: Ericameria parryi.  (Click for more biographical information about Parry.) 

Ericameria parryi

Ericameria parryi

Ericameria parryi.  Synonym: Chrysothamnus parryi.  (Parry's Rabbitbrush)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane. Open woodlands, meadows. Summer, fall.
Fish Creek Trail, August 9, 2005 and Lower Calico Trail, July 30, 2013.

Phyllaries, the light green structures that surround the side of each flower cluster, are divided into two types: the outer phyllaries are long, narrow, and taper to a point; the inner are shorter and usually light green to papery-white; both are only slightly keeled, i.e., humped or raised like a ship's keel and both inner and outer phyllaries are often sticky.

Branches of Ericameria parryi have an upright posture. Note the light stem color, a characteristic due to abundant hairs which are usually present on this species and E. nauseosus, but not on the other species of Ericameria and Chrysothamnus in the Four Corners region.

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus variety viscidiflorus (Sticky Rabbitbrush)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Woodlands, meadows, disturbed areas. Late summer, fall.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, August 21, 2005 and Can-Do Trail, McPhee Reservoir, September 17, 2010.

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus blooms in late summer-to-fall with an abundance of tiny flowers clustered into a golden-yellow glow.  The shrub is usually evenly rounded, it is typically eight-to-twenty inches tall (but may be three or four feet tall), the base of the flower cluster is commonly sticky (hence the Latin "viscidiflorus" meaning "sticky flower"), its leaves are very often twisted into a gentle spiral, and the stems are smooth without a whitish, hairy coating. Ericameria nauseosus, a very common species with which C. viscidiflorus is commonly confused, has white-hairy stems and grows to six feet tall and round.

Some people are allergic to the peppery-sweet scent of the pollen of the various species of Chrysothamnus and Ericameria.

The first specimens C. viscidiflorus were collected by David Douglas along the Columbia River in 1826 and the plant was first named Crinitaria viscidiflora by William Hooker in 1834. In 1841 Thomas Nuttall gave the plant its present name. "Viscidiflorus" means "sticky flowered". 

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus variety viscidiflorus (Sticky Rabbitbrush)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Woodlands, meadows, disturbed areas. Late summer, fall.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, August 21, 2005.

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus variety viscidiflorus (Sticky Rabbitbrush)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Woodlands, meadows, disturbed areas. Late summer, fall.
Can-Do Trail, McPhee Reservoir, September 17, 2010 and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, August 12, 2013.

Leaves of this very common variety of C. viscidiflorus are commonly twisted and glabrous or sometimes ciliate.

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus.

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus variety viscidiflorus (Sticky Rabbitbrush)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Woodlands, meadows, disturbed areas. Late summer, fall.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, August 21, 2005.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Ericameria parryi

Range map for Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus