23
Feb
2010
Flourensia cernua - tarbush
Trees and shrubs | Magnoliopsida

Scientific Name – Flourensia cernua DC.

Synonim

Common name(s) – tarbush, blackbrush, varnishbush, hojasé, Yerba del Hule.

Distribution and Habitat – common (endemic) on dry plains to the Chihuahuan Desert, Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas at elevation ranging from 400-2000 m. Is associated with Hilaria mutica, Larrea tridentate, Prosopis sp., Scleropogon brevifolius. It is found in limestone or calcareous, deeper soils.

Description – deciduous shrub, erect to procumbent, 30 -200 cm tall, much branched. Twig light brown, gray, slender, resinous, pubescent; trunk gray to dark gray, glabrous, sparingly striate, resinous. Leaves alternate, simple, elliptical or oblong to oval, 1.6-2.5  x 0.6-1.2 cm, acute, margins entire, adaxially green and glabrous, abaxially paller and glabrous or pubescent, veins often black; petioles 1-2.5 mm long, puberulent. Inflorescences small, solitary. Flowers with 3 series bracts; bracts linear; ray flowers absent; disk flower 12-20, yellow, resinous. Flowering in July to December. Fruit achene, 0.5-1 cm long, oblong, compressed, villous; papus of 2-4 unequal bristles, 2.5-3.3 mm long.

Growth rate – slow

Requirements – prefers heavy, deep soils; full sun, light water.

Propagation – by seeds.

Properties and Uses – mature fruit is poisonous to sheep and goats. In Mexic, an infusion of the leaves is drunk frequently to treat various gastrointestinal ailments.

Curiosity – the genus Flourensia, tribe Heliantheae, consist of 32 species of resinous shrubs that grow from southern United States south to Argentina and Chile.

Bibliography

A.Powell – Trees and Shrubs of the Trans-Pecos and adjacent areas- University of Texas Press, 1998

James Stubbendieck, Stephan L. Hatch, L.M. Landholt – North American Wildland Plants – University of Nebraska Press, 2003

Mahendra Rai, Maria Cecilia Carpinella – Naturally Occuring Bioactive Compounds- Elsevier Science, 2006

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