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Common Name: Brittle Bush
Encelia farinosa is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 0.75 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
South-western N. America - California to Utah and Arizona.
Dry stony slopes to 1000 metres[
]. Coastal scrub, stony desert hillsides from sea level to1000 metres[
Requires a very warm sunny position in a deep very well-drained soil[
]. Plants strongly resent wet conditions, especially in the winter[
This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
]. Another report says that the plants will tolerate temperatures down to -12°c if they are in quite dry conditions[
]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[
Plants have a taproot and resent root disturbance[
]. They should be planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small, though they will then need protection from the cold for their first winter or so[
A gum that exudes from the ends of mature stems is used for chewing[
]. It is aromatic[
A decoction of the blossoms, leaves and stems has been held in the mouth to alleviate a toothache[
]. A poultice of the plant has been used to alleviate pain[
A resin that exudes from the ends of mature stems is used as a glue and as an incense in the home and in church[
]. It has also been used to waterproof containers and has been melted then used as a varnish[
The resinous branches have been used to make a quick fire[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed and pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle[
]. Grow on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter, making sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate the tap root, and plant out in early summer.
Cuttings, in pure sand, in a frame[
]. The report does not specify the type of cutting.