Groundsel Thrives in Disturbed Soil

Jan 13, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Baccharis halimifolia,   is a native plant but you might not want it in your yard. It’s striking in late fall when the female flowers develop into seeds with showy white hairs that aid in wind dispersement.    Earlier in the fall, the male plants (Baccharis is dioecious =-- male and female flowers are on separate plants) produce copious amounts of pollen causing hay fever in sensitive individuals. This plant was once grew mostly near the coast.

But in Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina, authors Porcher and Rayner classify it as a plant of the ruderal community, disturbed areas – such as places that have been logged or impacted by highway construction. These plants typically are tough and have low nutrient requirements and produce a lot of seeds. As South Carolina transformed from a rural to a more urban state, Baccharis followed man’s building projects.