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Common Name:
Southern Arizona
  • Yellow
  • Birds
  • Butterflies
Plant Type:
  • Shrub

The stems of what desert plant was used by cowboys as toothbrushes. Learn more about Brittlebush.

Encelia farinosa

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.

USDA Hardiness Zones

8a (10 °F to 15 °F)

8b (15 °F to 20 °F)

9a (20 °F to 25 °F)

9b (25 °F to 30 °F)

10a (30 °F to 35 °F)

10b (35 °F to 40 °F)

11a (40 °F to 45 °F)

11b (45 °F to 50 °F)

Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)

A store of goods

Leaves on this shrub are covered with soft white hairs which help it cope with desert life; the more arid the conditions, the smaller and whiter the leaves produced. Stems have an aromatic gum that people chew or use for incense. Native Americans heated the resin and used it as a glue. And in the old days cowboys used brittlebush stems as toothbrushes. 

Fun Facts:
  • Has been used medicinally for toothaches.
  • Butterflies are attracted to the yellow flowers.