Baccharis: White Clouds among Fall Color.

As we came from town, I noticed that the Baccharis tree at the edge of the right of way along a  soybean field was in full bloom. I think I caught it in what will be its full glory. Not everybody  is complimentary of this native tree. Bir said he only included it in his book on Showy Native Woody Plants because county agents get so many questions about it. I’ve had people in the car ask me the same thing as we sped by the little trees covered with white silky floss this time of year.

A Tidewater Gardener wrote about this same plant this time last year. It grows in the salt marshes there.


Baccharis here is Baccharis halimifolia; consumption weed; cotton-seed tree; groundsel bush; groundsel tree usually a shrub of salt marshes of eastern and south central North America and West Indies; fruit is surrounded with white plumelike hairy tufts. This is perhaps the biggest one I’ve ever seen, growing undisturbed along field’s edge. The ones along the north field tree line have given way to evergreen Cherry Laurels, which I did not photograph.

Town Mouse in California writes about Baccharis pilularis; chaparral broom; coyote brush; coyote bush; a widely spreading evergreen shrub of southwestern United States with flower heads in a leafy panicle.

We have a bit of color showing.
Wild Cherries are scattered across the meadows like dancers aflame.

A small Sweet Gum displayed purple and orange leaves not far from the pond. The bigger Sweet Gum at pond’s edge displayed yellowish leaves, mostly falling before turning.

Red Sumac and golden wild Muscadine draped together farther down the slope from the Cherry Laurels, which will remain like a green wall all winter.

Those were the wildings that we saw, along with great clusters of Chinaberries, my least favorite tree. The leaves in a drier fall might turn more yellow. These are just falling.

Closer home, the fall color in the garden among non-natives is more fiesta-like. Loropetalums have fringes of magenta blooms among the usual purple leaves and some leaves turning bright red.
The white Loropetalum has sparse white fringes among green leaves and scarlet. I always like to get a picture of exfoliating crape myrtle bark. This exfoliating bark  has lichens.

Happy, Happy Fall

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