This genus is named after the Bacchus, god of wine (but I’m not sure why).
All species in this genus are dioecious which means that male and female flowers occur on different plants.
I have observed three species in SB. The flowers are very similar. I distinguish them by their leaves and habitat.
- Coyote Bush, B. pilularis, has small, toothed leaves and is common on our coastal mesas and is also found on the trails.
- Plummer’s Baccharis, B. plummerae has longer, toothed leaves, smaller bushes, and I’ve only seen it on the trails.
- Mule fat, B. salicifolia has even longer leaves and the leaves are almost smooth. I’ve only seen this growing in swampy areas. It also seems to bloom later than the other two and the female flowers look more like the male flowers than is the case for the other two.