[7,8,21,28]. It grows to about 5 feet (1.5 m). It has a woody base and
is rounded and much-branched in form. Thick branches support an
umbrella of leaves with few stems beneath . The leaves are 0.7 to 2
inches (2-5 cm) long and 0.6 to 1 inch (1.5-2.5 cm) broad. They are
mostly located toward the end of branches . The flowering heads are
loosely clustered on long naked branchlets [1,35]. Brittle bush is
short lived. On permanent plots in the Sonoran Desert, the maximum
observed longevity was 32 years .
Brittle bush generally has shallow roots . One study found that the
root system of brittle bush on a north-facing slope was composed of a
stout taproot and numerous laterals. All laterals bore groups of
filamentous roots .
- 1. Benson, Lyman; Darrow, Robert A. 1981. The trees and shrubs of the Southwestern deserts. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. 
- 7. Brown, David E.; Minnich, Richard A. 1986. Fire and changes in creosote bush scrub of the western Sonoran Desert, California. American Midland Naturalist. 116(2): 411-422. 
- 8. Cannon, William Austin. 1911. The root habits of desert plants. Washington, DC: The Carnegie Institution of Washington. 96 p. 
- 21. Levin, Geoffrey A. 1988. How plants survive in the desert. Environment Southwest. Summer: 20-25. 
- 27. Minnich, Richard A. 1983. Fire mosaics in southern California and northern Baja California. Science. 219: 1287-1294. 
- 28. Monson, R. K.; Smith, S. D.; Gehring, J. L.; [and others]
- 35. Shreve, F.; Wiggins, I. L. 1964. Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran Desert. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 2 vols. 
- 54. Goldberg, Deborah E.; Turner, Raymond M. 1986. Vegetation change and plant demography in permanent plots in the Sonoran Desert. Ecology. 67(3): 695-712. 
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