Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Occurrence in North America

     AZ  CA  NV  UT  MEXICO

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White burrobrush is found in the Sonoran, Mojave, and Colorado deserts
of Baja California, southern California, southern Nevada, extreme
southwest Utah, Arizona, and northwest Mexico [18,22,27,46].  A small,
relict population occurs in the southern end of the Central Valley of
California [12].
  • 12.  Goeden, Richard D.; Ricker, Donald W. 1986. Phytophagous insect fauna of        the desert shrub Hymenoclea salsola in southern California. Annals of        the Entomological Society of America. 79(1): 39-47.  [22116]
  • 18.  MacMahon, James A. 1985. The Audubon Society nature guides: Deserts. New        York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 638 p.  [4956]
  • 22.  Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1086 p.  [4924]
  • 27.  Shreve, F.; Wiggins, I. L. 1964. Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran        Desert. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 2 vols.  [21016]
  • 46.  Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of        California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p.        [21992]

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

    7  Lower Basin and Range
   12  Colorado Plateau

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

White burrobrush is a native, short-lived, drought-deciduous, perennial
shrub 3 to 8 feet (1-2.5 m) tall and two- or three-fold as wide
[2,4,22,27].  It is rounded and often straggly with slender, puberulent
branches and narrow, often threadlike or needlelike leaves to 0.7 to 3
inches (2-7.5 cm) long [7,18,21,27].  The flower heads are small and
numerous [2,7,22].  White burrobrush has a shallow root system
consisting of a relatively short taproot with prominent laterals [20].
  • 2.  Benson, Lyman; Darrow, Robert A. 1981. The trees and shrubs of the        Southwestern deserts. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press.        [18066]
  • 4.  Burk, Jack H. 1977. Sonoran Desert. In: Barbour, M. G.; Major, J., eds.        Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons:        869-899.  [3731]
  • 7.  Daniel, Thomas F.; Butterwick, Mary L. 1992. Flora of the South        Mountains of south-central Arizona. Desert Plants. 10(3): 99-119.        [19896]
  • 18.  MacMahon, James A. 1985. The Audubon Society nature guides: Deserts. New        York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 638 p.  [4956]
  • 20.  Manning, Sara J.; Groeneveld, David P. 1990. Shrub rooting        characteristics and water acquisition on xeric sites in the western        Great Basin. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Romney, Evan M.; Smith, Stanley        D.; Tueller, Paul T., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on cheatgrass        invasion, shrub die-off, and other aspects of shrub biology and        management; 1989 April 5-7; Las Vegas, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-276.        Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain        Research Station: 238-244.  [12856]
  • 21.  Mozingo, Hugh N. 1987. Shrubs of the Great Basin: A natural history.        Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 342 p.  [1702]
  • 22.  Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1086 p.  [4924]
  • 27.  Shreve, F.; Wiggins, I. L. 1964. Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran        Desert. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 2 vols.  [21016]

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Description

Shrubs, 20–80(–150+) cm. Stems erect. Leaves mostly alternate; petioles 0; blades mostly filiform, 15–35(–65+) × 0.5–1.5 mm, sometimes with 3(–5+) filiform lobes, abaxial faces sparsely scabrellous, glabrescent, often vernicose, adaxial faces densely scabrellous (white). Pistillate heads ± intermixed with staminates; florets 1. Staminate heads: peduncles 0–0.5 mm; involucres ± cup-shaped, 1–3(–4) mm diam., ± glabrate, ± vernicose or gland-dotted; florets 5–15+. Burs: bodies plumply fusiform, 3–4(–6) mm, stipitate-glandular, wings 5–20+, ± scattered, broadly cuneiform, flabellate, or orbiculate, 3–4(–6) × 2–4(–8) mm. 2n = 36.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Hymenoclea salsola Torrey & A. Gray, Mem. Amer. Acad. Arts, n. s. 4: 79. 1849
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Type Information

Isotype for Hymenoclea fasciculata A. Nelson
Catalog Number: US 485364
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): L. N. Goodding
Year Collected: 1902
Locality: Kernan., Nevada, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Nelson, A. 1904. Bot. Gaz. 37: 270.
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Isotype for Hymenoclea fasciculata A. Nelson
Catalog Number: US 969100
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): L. N. Goodding
Year Collected: 1902
Locality: Kernan., Nevada, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Nelson, A. 1904. Bot. Gaz. 37: 270.
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Ecology

Habitat

Mojave Desert Habitat

This taxon is found in the Mojave Desert, the smallest of the four North American deserts. While the Mojave lies between the Great Basin Shrub Steppe and the Sonoran Desert, its fauna is more closely allied with the lower Colorado division of the Sonoran Desert. Dominant plants of the Mojave include Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata), Many-fruit Saltbush (Atriplex polycarpa), Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa), Desert Holly (Atriplex hymenelytra), White Burrobush (Hymenoclea salsola), and Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), the most notable endemic species in the region.

The Mojave’s warm temperate climate defines it as a distinct ecoregion. Mojave indicator species include Spiny Menodora (Menodora spinescens), Desert Senna (Cassia armata), Mojave Indigobush (Psorothamnus arborescens), and Shockley's Goldenhead (Acamptopappus shockleyi). The Mojave supports numerous species of cacti, including several endemics, such as Silver Cholla (Opuntia echinocarpa), Mojave Prickly Pear (O. erinacea), Beavertail Cactus (O. basilaris), and Cotton-top Cactus (Echinocactus polycephalus).

While the Mojave Desert is not so biologically distinct as the other desert ecoregions, distinctive endemic communities occur throughout. For example, the Kelso Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve harbor seven species of endemic insects, including the Kelso Dunes Jerusalem Cricket (Ammopelmatus kelsoensis) and the Kelso Dunes Shieldback Katydid (Eremopedes kelsoensis). The Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma Scoparia), while not endemic to the dunes, is rare elsewhere. Flowering plants also attract butterflies such as the Mojave Sooty-wing (Pholisora libya), and the widely distributed Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).

There are a total of eight amphibian species present in the Mojave Desert all of which are anuran species: the endemic Relict Leopard Frog (Lithobates onca); the endemic Amargosa Toad (Anaxyrus nelsoni); Lowland Leopard Frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis); Red-spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus); Southwestern Toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus); Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana); Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus); and the Pacific Treefrog (Pseudacris regilla).

The native range of California’s threatened Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) includes the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. The Desert Tortoise has adapted for arid habitats by storing up to a liter of water in its urinary bladder. The following reptilian fauna are characteristic of the Mojave region in particular: Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum NT); Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus), Northern Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis), Western Chuckwalla (Sauromalus obesus), and regal horned lizard (Phrynosoma solare). Snake species include the Desert Rosy Boa (Charina trivirgata gracia), Mojave Patchnose Snake (Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis), and Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus).

Endemic mammals of the ecoregion include the Mojave Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus mohavensis) and Amargosa Vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis); and the California Leaf-nosed Bat (Macrotus californicus).

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: codominant, tree

White burrobrush is commonly found in creosotebush (Larrea tridentata),
shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia), and saltbush (Atriplex spp.) scrub,
Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) woodlands, and pinyon-juniper woodlands
[27,36,30].  Johnson [15] describes a white burrobrush community type in
the desert washes of the Mojave Desert characterized by white
burrobrush, desert saltbush (Atriplex polycarpa), desert rabbitbrush
(Chrysothamnus paniculatus), and catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii).  Hanley
and Brady [14] describe a paloverde (Cercidium spp.)-white burrobrush
community type in Sonoran Desert washes.

In addition to the above mentioned species, white burrobrush is commonly
associated with smoke tree (Dalea spinosa), white bursage (Ambrosia
dumosa), brittle bush (Encelia farinosa), jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis),
sweetbush (Bebbia juncea), desert agave (Agave deserti), ocotillo
(Fouquieria splendens), range ratany (Kramerica parvifolia), teddybear
cholla (Opuntia bigelovii), desert willow (Chilopsis linearis), and
rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus) [42,44,45].

A publication listing white burrobrush as a codominant species in desert
wash communities is listed below:

Vegetation and plant communities of southern California deserts-- a
   functional view [15].
  • 14.  Hanley, Thomas A.; Brady, Ward W. 1977. Feral burro impact on a Sonoran        Desert range. Journal of Range Management. 30(5): 374-377.  [4337]
  • 15.  Johnson, Hyrum B. 1976. Vegetation and plant communities of southern        California deserts--a functional view. In: Latting, June, ed. Symposium        proceedings: plant communities of southern California; 1974 May 4;        Fullerton, CA. Special Publication No. 2. Berkeley, CA: California        Native Plant Society: 125-164.  [1278]
  • 27.  Shreve, F.; Wiggins, I. L. 1964. Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran        Desert. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 2 vols.  [21016]
  • 30.  Turner, Raymond M. 1982. Mohave desertscrub. In: Brown, David E., ed.        Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United States and Mexico.        Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 157-168.  [2374]
  • 36.  Vasek, Frank C.; Barbour, Michael G. 1977. Mojave desert scrub        vegetation. In: Barbour, M. G.; Major, J., eds. Terestrial vegetation of        California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 835-867.  [3730]
  • 42.  Zedler, Paul H. 1981. Vegetation change in chaparral and desert        communities in San Diego County, California. In: West, D. C.; Shugart,        H. H.; Botkin, D. B., eds. Forest succession: Concepts and application.        New York: Springer-Verlag: 406-430.  [4241]
  • 44.  Sharifi, M. R.; Meinzer, F. C.; Rundel, P. W.; Nilsen, E. T. 1990.        Effect of manipulating soil water and nitrogen regimes on clipping        production and water relations of creosote bush. In: McArthur, E.        Durant; Romney, Evan M.; Smith, Stanley D.; Tueller, Paul T., compilers.        Proceedings--symposium on cheatgrass invasion, shrub die-off, and other        aspects of shrub biology and management; 1989 April 5-7; Las Vegas, NV.        Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-276. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 245-249.  [12857]
  • 45.  Smith, Stanley D.; Bradney, David J. M. 1990. Mojave Desert field trip.        In: McArthur, E. Durant; Romney, Evan M.; Smith, Stanley D.; Tueller,        Paul T., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on cheatgrass invasion, shrub        die-off, and other aspects of shrub biology and management; 1989 April        5-7; Las Vegas, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-276. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 350-351.        [12871]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the term: cactus

   K023  Juniper - pinyon woodland
   K024  Juniper steppe woodland
   K040  Saltbush - greasewood
   K041  Creosotebush
   K042  Creosotebush - bursage
   K043  Paloverde - cactus shrub
   K044  Creosotebush - tarbush

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

   FRES29  Sagebrush
   FRES30  Desert shrub
   FRES35  Pinyon - juniper

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Habitat characteristics

White burrobrush is commonly found in sandy washes, alluvial fans, and
rocky slopes [2,18,21].  It generally grows on well-drained, sandy,
alkaline soils [22,33], and is found at elevations between 2,200 and
2,950 feet (670-900 m) [39].
  • 2.  Benson, Lyman; Darrow, Robert A. 1981. The trees and shrubs of the        Southwestern deserts. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press.        [18066]
  • 18.  MacMahon, James A. 1985. The Audubon Society nature guides: Deserts. New        York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 638 p.  [4956]
  • 21.  Mozingo, Hugh N. 1987. Shrubs of the Great Basin: A natural history.        Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 342 p.  [1702]
  • 22.  Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1086 p.  [4924]
  • 33.  Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States,        their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture. 362 p.  [4240]
  • 39.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

   238  Western juniper
   239  Pinyon - juniper

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General Ecology

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the term: prescribed fire

The Research Project Summary Nonnative annual grass fuels and fire in
California's Mojave Desert
provides information on prescribed fire and
postfire response of plant community species, including white burrobrush,
that was not available when this species review was written.

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: cover, frequency

White burrobrush populations recover quickly after fire via off-site
seeds and sprouting [23,29].  Five years after the Snow Creek fire,
white burrobrush frequency and cover were greater on burned than
unburned sites [23].  Following the July fire in the San Ysidro
Mountains, more than 90 percent of white burrobrush plants survived by
sprouting.  Some white burrobrush started sprouting within 2 months
after the fire.  Regrowth is summarized below [29]:

                # of resprouting     Mean # of        Mean length of
                   plants/ha        sprouts/plant      sprouts (cm)

2 months after      5                     1                     3.8
fire (Sept)

4 months after    114                     9                    14.5
fire (Nov)

7 months after    247                     6                    10.4
fire (Feb)

10 months after    79                    12                    33.3
fire (June)
  • 23.  O'Leary, John F.; Minnich, Richard A. 1981. Postfire recovery of        creosote bush scrub vegetation in the western Colorado Desert. Madrono.        28(2): 61-66.  [3973]
  • 29.  Tratz, Wallace Michael. 1978. Postfire vegetational recovery,        productivity, and herbivore utilization of a chaparral-desert ecotone.        Los Angeles, CA: California State University. 133 p. Thesis.  [5495]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the term: wildfire

White burrobrush is often top-killed by fire.  Most white burrobrush
plants were burned to ground level by a severe summer fire in the Snow
Creek area of Riverside County, California [23].  In a canyon in the San
Ysidro Mountains, California, a July wildfire in the chaparral-desert
ecotone top-killed nearly all white burrobrush plants.  Occasional small
pockets of plants in protected areas were not harmed [29].
  • 23.  O'Leary, John F.; Minnich, Richard A. 1981. Postfire recovery of        creosote bush scrub vegetation in the western Colorado Desert. Madrono.        28(2): 61-66.  [3973]
  • 29.  Tratz, Wallace Michael. 1978. Postfire vegetational recovery,        productivity, and herbivore utilization of a chaparral-desert ecotone.        Los Angeles, CA: California State University. 133 p. Thesis.  [5495]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the term: shrub

   Small shrub, adventitious-bud root crown
   Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)

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Fire Ecology

More info for the term: natural

Fires are infrequent in communities where white burrobrush occurs
because of low productivity and discontinuous fuels [23]; nevertheless,
fire is a natural component of these communities [16,42].  White
burrobrush establishes after fire via off-site seeds and sprouting
(sprout origin unspecified) [29,38].  Because it seeds prolifically,
white burrobrush can quickly colonize burned sites [38].
  • 16.  Knapp, Paul A. 1992. Secondary plant succession and vegetation recovery        in two western Great Basin Desert ghost towns. Biological Conservation.        60: 81-89.  [19273]
  • 23.  O'Leary, John F.; Minnich, Richard A. 1981. Postfire recovery of        creosote bush scrub vegetation in the western Colorado Desert. Madrono.        28(2): 61-66.  [3973]
  • 29.  Tratz, Wallace Michael. 1978. Postfire vegetational recovery,        productivity, and herbivore utilization of a chaparral-desert ecotone.        Los Angeles, CA: California State University. 133 p. Thesis.  [5495]
  • 38.  Webb, Robert H.; Steiger, John W.; Newman, Evelyn B. 1988. The response        of vegetation to disturbance in Death Valley National Monument,        California. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1793. Washington, DC: U.S.        Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. 69 p.  [8915]
  • 42.  Zedler, Paul H. 1981. Vegetation change in chaparral and desert        communities in San Diego County, California. In: West, D. C.; Shugart,        H. H.; Botkin, D. B., eds. Forest succession: Concepts and application.        New York: Springer-Verlag: 406-430.  [4241]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: cover, shrub

Obligate Initial Community Species

White burrobrush is a short-lived pioneer or invader species.  It is
common and often very abundant on disturbed sites [24,34,35].  White
burrobrush is often the primary short-lived pioneer species found in
small desert washes [36].  It may be present in very low numbers in
stable, old creosotebush communities [36].  The life span of white
burrobrush is not known but is estimated at only a few decades [34].

White burrobrush was the most abundant pioneer shrub on a disturbed
pipeline construction site in creosotebush scrub vegetation of the
Mojave Desert.  In some disturbed areas white burrobrush made up as much
as 85 percent of the vegetative cover 12 years after the original
vegetation had been removed [35].  Another Mojave Desert study of
disturbed creosotebush scrub, at three military camps abandoned for 40
years, found that white burrobrush was dominant in the majority of
disturbed sites.  It also had percentage cover values similar to or
greater than controls in most areas where substrate alterations were
significant [24].
  • 24.  Prose, D. V.; Metzger, Susan K.; Wilshire, H. G. 1987. Effects of        substrate disturbance on secondary plant succession; Mojave Desert,        California. Journal of Applied Ecology. 24: 305-313.  [4590]
  • 34.  Vasek, Frank C. 1979. Early successional stages in Mojave Desert scrub        vegetation. Israel Journal of Botany. 28: 133-148.  [4579]
  • 35.  Vasek, F. C.; Johnson, H. B.; Eslinger, D. H. 1975. Effects of pipeline        construction on creosote bush scrub vegetation of the Mojave Desert.        Madrono. 23(1): 1-13.  [3429]
  • 36.  Vasek, Frank C.; Barbour, Michael G. 1977. Mojave desert scrub        vegetation. In: Barbour, M. G.; Major, J., eds. Terestrial vegetation of        California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 835-867.  [3730]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: shrubs

White burrobrush reproduces mostly by seed but can also reproduce by
sprouting [13,29,41].  Flowers are borne on 2-year-old branches which,
following fruit development, die back to the ground.  Flowers are wind
pollinated [21].  White burrobrush fruits contain only one seed and are
disseminated by wind or water [19,21,37].

The seeds have high viability and germination rates compared to other
desert shrubs [26,41].  In a 16-day germination study, they had one of
the highest rates of germination (57 percent) of seven species of desert
shrubs.  White burrobrush seedlings emerged well from 0.39- and
0.79-inch (1- and 2-cm) plantings but not from depths of 1.5 inches (4
cm) or more [41].  Stratification has been shown to have no effect on
germination rate.  Seed treatments used to increase white burrobrush
germination in the laboratory, and their results, have been described by
Graves and others [13].
  • 13.  Graves, Walter L.; Kay, Burgess L.; Williams, William A. 1975. Seed        treatment of Mojave Desert shrubs. Agronomy Journal. 67(6): 773-777.        [4192]
  • 19.  Maddox, Jay C.; Carlquist, Sherwin. 1985. Wind dispersal in Californian        desert plants: experimental studies and conceptual considerations.        Aliso. 11(1): 77-96.  [3256]
  • 21.  Mozingo, Hugh N. 1987. Shrubs of the Great Basin: A natural history.        Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 342 p.  [1702]
  • 26.  Rowlands, Peter G. 1980. Recovery, succession, and revegetation in the        Mojave Desert. In: Rowlands, Peter G., ed. The effects of disturbance on        desert soils, vegetation & community processes with emphasis on off road        vehicles: a critical review. Special Publication, Desert Plan Staff.        Riverside, CA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land        Management: 75-119.  [20680]
  • 29.  Tratz, Wallace Michael. 1978. Postfire vegetational recovery,        productivity, and herbivore utilization of a chaparral-desert ecotone.        Los Angeles, CA: California State University. 133 p. Thesis.  [5495]
  • 37.  Vogl, Richard J.; McHargue, Lawrence T. 1966. Vegetation of California        fan palm oases on the San Andreas Fault. Ecology. 47(4): 532-540.        [3044]
  • 41.  Williams, W. A.; Cook, O. D.; Kay, B. L. 1974. Germination of native        desert shrubs. California Agriculture. 28(8): 13.  [4194]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

  
   Phanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: shrub

Shrub

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

White burrobrush flowers from March through June [1,18,20,22].  New leaf
and twig growth is initiated after summer and winter rains.  Both leaf
and twig tissues are thus present during the periods of peak seasonal
productivity [6].  At one site in southern Nye County, Nevada, the range
of beginning dates of phenophases over a 6-year period was as follows
[1]:

     leaf- March through April
     flower bud- mid-March through mid-April
     flower- early April through early May.
  • 1.  Ackerman, T. L.; Romney, E. M.; Wallace, A.; Kinnear, J. E. 1980.        Phenology of desert shrubs in southern Nye County, Nevada. In: Great        Basin Naturalist Memoirs No. 4. Nevada desert ecology. Provo, UT:        Brigham Young University: 4-23.  [3197]
  • 6.  Comstock, Jonathan P.; Ehleringer, James R. 1988. Contrasting        photosynthetic behavior in leaves and twigs of Hymenoclea salsola, a        green-twigged warm desert shrub. American Journal of Botany. j75(9):        1360-1370.  [22115]
  • 18.  MacMahon, James A. 1985. The Audubon Society nature guides: Deserts. New        York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 638 p.  [4956]
  • 20.  Manning, Sara J.; Groeneveld, David P. 1990. Shrub rooting        characteristics and water acquisition on xeric sites in the western        Great Basin. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Romney, Evan M.; Smith, Stanley        D.; Tueller, Paul T., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on cheatgrass        invasion, shrub die-off, and other aspects of shrub biology and        management; 1989 April 5-7; Las Vegas, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-276.        Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain        Research Station: 238-244.  [12856]
  • 22.  Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1086 p.  [4924]

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T4 - Apparently Secure

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United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: TNR - Not Yet Ranked

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United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Abundance unknown but widespread in southern California and in western and southern Nevada (11 Nevada counties) (Kartesz 2002). Also reported from Arizona and Utah.

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Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Management

Management considerations

White burrobrush causes hay fever [3,22].
  • 3.  Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals,        reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's        associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO:        U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p.        [434]
  • 22.  Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1086 p.  [4924]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Other uses and values

The Seri Indians of Sonora, Mexico, use white burrobrush twigs and stems
in several remedies.  The twigs or leaves are mixed with all-thorn
(Koeberlinia spinosa) twigs, boiled, and the tea taken to treat skin
rashes.  Seri also drank the tea to relieve pain in the lungs and
trachea, and to reduce swelling.  Additionally, they use white
burrobrush as a remedy for rheumatism [10].
  • 10.  Felger, Richard S.; Moser, Mary Beck. 1974. Seri Indian pharmacopoeia.        Economic Botany. 28: 414-436.  [2767]

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Cover Value

Some arroyo habitats where white burrobrush occurs provide den sites for
the desert tortoise [43].
  • 43.  McArthur, E. Durant; Sanderson, Stewart C. 1992. A comparison between        xeroriparian and upland vegetation of Beaver Dam Slope, Utah, as desert        tortoise habitat. In: Clary, Warren P.; McArthur, E. Durant; Bedunah,        Don; Wambolt, Carl L., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on ecology and        management of riparian shrub communities; 1991 May 29-31; Sun Valley,        ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-289. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 25-31.  [19091]

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Wikipedia

Ambrosia salsola

Ambrosia salsola (formerly Hymenoclea salsola),[3] commonly called Cheesebush, Winged Ragweed, Burrobush[citation needed], White burrobrush,[citation needed] and Desert Pearl,[citation needed] is a foul smelling, scraggly perrenial shrub in the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae) common in deserts of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.[4]

This species easily[citation needed] hybridizes with the White Bur-Sage (Ambrosia dumosa).[4]

Range and habitat[edit]

It is common on sandy desert flats, desert dry washes, and is weedy in disturbed sites in creosote bush scrub, shadscale scrub, Joshua tree woodland, and Pinyon juniper woodland, ranging from Inyo County California, to northwestern Mexico.[4]

It grows in sandy and gravelly soil, and sometimes on lava formations at elevations of 200–1800 m (650–6000 feet).[5][6]

It is known from Sonora, Baja California, California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah.[citation needed]

It is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it is a common plant of the local deserts, where it thrives on sandy soil, alkaline environments, and disturbed sites.[citation needed]

Growth pattern[edit]

It is typically 2' to 3' in height.[4] It drops about half of its leaves and some of its twigs in hot, dry summer conditions (drought deciduous).[4]

Ambrosia salsola is a shrub sometimes attaining a height of 150 cm (60 inches).[7][8][8][9][9][10]

This is a perennial shrub which forms a sprawling bush up to eight feet high.[citation needed]

Leaves and stems[edit]

It has thin stems and narrow, needlelike leaves. Leaves are narrow and needlelike (linear),[4] thread-like (filiform,[7][8][9] sometimes up to 65 mm (2.6 inches) long but a mere 1.5 mm (0.06 inches) across.[7][8][9]

The foliage and stem tips have a foul, pungent, cheese-like scent when crushed, a trait which gives the plant the common name "cheesebush".[4]

Inflorescence, fruits, seeds[edit]

It flowers from March to June.[4] Numerous small, cuplike male flowers grow in spike-like clusters above the female heads growing in the leaf axils.[4]

All female (Pistillate) flower heads contain only one flower,[citation needed] while all male (staminate) heads may contain 5-15 flowers.[7][8][9]

It is covered in plentiful white or yellow flowers and then pearly, winged fruits in white, yellow, or pink.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tropicos
  2. ^ The Plant List
  3. ^ Mojave Desert Wildflowers, Pam MacKay, 2nd Ed. 2013, p. 314
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mojave Desert Wildflowers, Pam MacKay, 2nd Ed. 2013, p. 263
  5. ^ Flora of North America v 21 p 12.
  6. ^ CONABIO. 2009. Catálogo taxonómico de especies de México. 1. In Capital Nat. México. CONABIO, Mexico City.
  7. ^ a b c d Strother, John Lance & Baldwin, Bruce G. Madroño 49(3): 143. 2002.
  8. ^ a b c d e Torrey, John, & Asa Gray. 1849. Plantae Fendlerianae Novi-Mexicanae, an account of a collection of plants made chiefly in the vicinity of Santa Fé, New Mexico. Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Science, new series 4(1):1-116.
  9. ^ a b c d e Forrest Shreve, & Ira Loren Wiggins. 1964. Vegetation and Flora of the Sonoran Desert. Stanford University Press.
  10. ^ Hickman, J. C. 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California 1–1400. University of California Press, Berkeley.
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Notes

Comments

Variety salsola refers to plants bearing burs with 6–14 wings in 2–3+ cycles, their tips ± spreading to patent; var. pentalepis (Rydberg) Strother & B. G. Baldwin refers to plants bearing burs with 5–9(–13) wings in 1(–2) cycles, their tips ± spreading to patent; var. fasciculata (A. Nelson) Strother & B. G. Baldwin [= Hymenoclea salsola var. patula (A. Nelson) K. M. Peterson & W. W. Payne, an illegitimate name] refers to plants bearing burs with 10–18 wings in 2–3+ cycles, their tips antrorsely ± appressed (see K. M. Peterson and W. W. Payne 1973).

Hybrids between Ambrosia salsola and A. dumosa have been called A. ×platyspina (Seaman) Strother & B. G. Baldwin.

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

white burrobrush
cheesebush
desert pearl
pearlbush

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The currently accepted scientific name for white burrobrush is
Hymenoclea salsola Tor. & Gray. There are three recognized
varieties [2,21,22,27]:

H. salsola var. salsola
H. salsola var. patula (Nelsen) Peterson & Payne
H. pentalepis (Rydb.) L. Benson.
  • 2.  Benson, Lyman; Darrow, Robert A. 1981. The trees and shrubs of the        Southwestern deserts. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press.        [18066]
  • 21.  Mozingo, Hugh N. 1987. Shrubs of the Great Basin: A natural history.        Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 342 p.  [1702]
  • 22.  Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1086 p.  [4924]
  • 27.  Shreve, F.; Wiggins, I. L. 1964. Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran        Desert. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 2 vols.  [21016]

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