Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Asterales Asteraceae Encelia Encelia farinosa


  • Plant Type: Deciduous, perennial shrub.
  • Common Names: Brittlebush, Incienso, Goldenhills.
  • Color: Bright yellow, purple-brown.
  • Flower Dimensions: The capitula is 1.18- 1.38 inches in diameter.
  • Flowering Seasons/Months: Winter and spring (March to June).
  • Deserts with Brittlebush: Mojave, Sonoran.

Brittlebush Flower Characteristics


Brittlebush is a common desert shrub under the family Asteraceae. The plant can grow up to 1-5 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

  • Brittlebush plants have broader leaves at the tip than the base. The fragrant leaves measure 1-4 inches in length. The leaves are alternate and simple.
  • The stems of the Brittlebush are brittle and fragrant. They are covered with fine white hairs.
  • The bright yellow flowers are arranged in loose panicles. These flowers are Daisy-like. They are at the and of the stems.
  • The brittlebushes are more or less limited to places with long periods of limited moisture.

Interesting Facts about Brittlebush

Encelia Farinosa Flowers

  • Research showed[1] that the Encelia farinosa intrinsic water-use efficiency manifested strong responses to climate change.
  • The exudate of the Brittlebush[2] is used by the Arizona Indians as an analgesic, chewing gum, and incense.
  • Encelia farinosa is also called incienso[3] because the resinous sap is aromatic and is often used as an incense substitute in Mexico.
  • Encelia farinosa is called Brittlebush[4] because the stem of this species is delicate.
  • Scientists discovered that the leaves of the Brittle Bush[5] can inhibit the growth of other plants. The scientists developed a new chemical compound to possibly develop a weed killer.

Incienso Flowers

Cite This Page

APA7MLA8Chicago (2024, February 21). Brittlebush. Bio Explorer. "Brittlebush" Bio Explorer, 21 February 2024, "Brittlebush" Bio Explorer, February 21 2024.
Key References
  • [1]“Manually Fix”. Accessed September 10, 2022. Link.
  • [2]“Manually Fix”. Accessed September 10, 2022. Link.
  • [3]“Brittlebush, Encelia farinosa”. Accessed September 10, 2022. Link.
  • [4]“Current Plants – Kumeyaay Garden – University of San Diego”. Accessed September 10, 2022. Link.
  • [5]“Manually Fix”. Accessed September 10, 2022. Link.


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