Alphabetical Plant Listing

Encelia californica (California Brittlebush)

California Brittlebush, Coast Sunflower, Bush Sunflower, California Encelia


Fast growing and easy to grow, Encelia californica (California Brittlebush) is a broad, much-branched sub-shrub with brittle branches bearing widely spaced, bright green, oval leaves. The foliage is semi-summer deciduous and tends to drop in times of drought. Profuse daisy-like flowers, 3 in. across (7 cm), with bright yellow rays surrounding dark brown center disks are borne on long, leafless stalks in spring and early summer. Rich in nectar, they attract bees and butterflies. Small birds such as goldfinches are attracted to the seed heads. Requiring only minimal care to look its best, Encelia californica is a great choice for mixed borders or perennial beds in water-wise gardens. It makes a good cut flower.

  • Grows up to 3 ft. tall (90 cm) and 4 ft. wide (120 cm). Will reseed and quickly spread throughout the garden.
  • Performs best in full sun, in sandy or well-drained soils. Water once per week in summer after the first year. It is drought tolerant and tolerates seaside conditions.
  • Great for banks and slopes (erosion control), wildlife gardens or as a groundcover.
  • Generally pest and disease free.
  • Can also be pruned after flowering to promote more blooms and more compact growth. Cut back by half in fall before new growth begins.
  • Propagate by softwood cuttings or seeds sown in fall.
  • Native to southern California, Arizona and Baja California.

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Requirements

Hardiness 10 – 11
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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By Bri Weldon, Debbie Ballentine, Marshal Hedin, Flickr

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 10 – 11
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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