Alphabetical Plant Listing

Baccharis salicifolia (Mule Fat)

Mule's Fat, Seep Willow, Seepwillow Baccharis, Water Wally, Baccharis glutinosa, Baccharis viminea, Molina salicifolia


Native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, Baccharis salicifolia (Mule Fat) is a large semi-evergreen shrub with erect to slightly arching stems clad with sticky resinous, rich-green leaves that look similar to willow leaves. Blooming almost year-round, a profusion of small, creamy-white fuzzy flowers, tinged with pink or red, are borne in terminal, flat-topped clusters. Butterflies use the blossoms as a nectar source while bees collect pollen from the flowers. Since Mule Fat blooms nearly year round it makes a great addition to a garden if you are hoping to attract pollinators. Tough, easy to grow, drought tolerant, Mule Fat is a thicket-forming shrub. It is a useful plant for a screen, windbreak or slope stabilization. The common name, Mule Fat, comes from the gold mining days when prospectors and cowboys would tie their mules to the shrub to browse.

  • Grows up to 6-12 ft. tall (180-360 cm) and 3-9 ft. wide (90-270 cm).
  • Thrives in mesic, sandy soils in full sun. This plant requires some water to look great. Although drought tolerant, it will look weedy and unattractive without enough water.
  • Excellent for banks and slopes (erosion control), as a privacy hedge or windbreak.
  • Generally pest and disease free.
  • Prune to shape and improve appearance.
  • Propagate by seed or by taking cuttings in summer.
  • Native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6' – 12' (180cm – 3.6m)
Spread 3' – 9' (90cm – 270cm)
Spacing 60" – 108" (150cm – 270cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Utah, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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Nature Shutterbug, Andy Blackledge (Flickr), Jared Quentin (Shutterstock)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6' – 12' (180cm – 3.6m)
Spread 3' – 9' (90cm – 270cm)
Spacing 60" – 108" (150cm – 270cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Utah, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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