Chrysothamnus nauseosus (Pursh.) Britt.
var albicaulis Nutt.
Rabbitbrush has a deep taproot with less well-developed laterals. Grows about 2-3 feet tall and has a pappus of hairlike bristles and involucral bracts yellowish and in vertical rows. Woody with wide-spreading branches covered with matted white wooley hairs. Leaves and stems are covered with a felt-like layer of trichomes that insulate the plant and reduce transpiration. Leaves are linear and less than 0.04 inch. Rubber Rabbitbrush has a deep taproot with less well-developed laterals. Resembles sagebrush but lacks the strong odor and has narrow, non-lobed leaves. There are colorful yellow disk flowers in showy clusters with small heads. A late season plant, first blooming in about mid-July and continuing into September. Grows on open, dry or sometimes wet places in the valleys, plains, and foothills, less commonly extending upwards to as much as 3000 in mountain elevations. Found throughout the Intermountain West. Reported by Nuttall in the Rocky Mountain plains near the Lewis' River.
Medicinal Uses: A poultice made from the chewed plant tips has been applied to boils and rheumatic joints. An infusion of the leaves has been used to treat coughs, fevers, colds, internal injuries, and constipation. The finely mashed leaves have been inserted in tooth cavities to treat toothache.
Planting: Requires a sunny position and prefers a well-drained sandy soil. Plants do not require a rich soil and they tolerate alkaline soils. A very hardy plant but it prefers a drier climate. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in sand in a frame.
It exhibits a number of adaptations for surviving in an arid environment. Plants may be "full grown" within 4 years. Rubber rabbit brush establishes from seed and by sprouting. Sprouts originate at or near the soil surface from epicormic buds located on the stem and root crown.