Groundsel Tree
Baccharis halimifolia - Linnaeus (L)
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family

  

Groundsel Tree is also known as Silverling, Sea Myrtle, False Willow, Bacchas Tree and Consumption Weed.

Plant is a shrub to 15 feet. Its preferred habitat is roadsides, fence rows, woodland edges, fields, fresh marshes and pond edges. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are alternate on the stem, consisting of one whole part, often clasping, fleshy, widest at the middle to egg-shaped and attached to the stem at the widest end. Leaf margins are toothed but occasionally there are no teeth and no lobes.

The stalked flowers arise from the leaf axil. Each flower is symmetrical in form, numerous, white to yellowish white. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. Flowers occur in the summer and autumn.

Fruit is achene (a seed which outer layer is fused to it).

The related B. angustifolia has leaves that are alternate, smooth on both surfaces, leathery, shiny green, very narrow (nearly needlelike), and usually seen at the borders and banks of salt, brackish and freshwater marshes, mangrove swamps and sloughs.

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