Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Chrysothamnus paniculatus 


SPECIES: Chrysothamnus paniculatus
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Tesky, Julie L. 1993. Chrysothamnus paniculatus. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : CHRPAN SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : CHPA COMMON NAMES : desert rabbitbrush Mohave rabbitbrush catclaw rabbitbrush black-banded rabbitbrush sticky rabbitbrush TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for desert rabbitbrush is Chrysothamnus paniculatus (Gray) Hall [11,18]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Chrysothamnus paniculatus
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Desert rabbitbrush is found in the Sonoran, Colorado, and Mojave Deserts of south-central California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah (Washington County), and northern Arizona [2,13,16,18,22]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES30 Desert shrub FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe FRES40 Desert grasslands STATES : AZ CA NV UT BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 7 Lower Basin and Range 12 Colorado Plateau KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K040 Saltbush - greasewood K041 Creosotebush K042 Creosotebush - bursage K043 Paloverde - cactus shrub K044 Creosotebush - tarbush K053 Grama - galleta steppe K054 Grama - tobosa prairie K057 Galleta - three-awn shrubsteppe SAF COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Desert rabbitbrush is often found in creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) scrub, Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) woodland, and baccharis (Baccharis spp.) desert communities [16,22]. It is commonly associated with white burrobush (Hymenoclea salsola), desert saltbush (Atriplex polycarpa), and catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii) [7,10].


SPECIES: Chrysothamnus paniculatus
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Desert rabbitbrush communities provide a home for many bird species. In desert rabbitbrush washes in the Mojave Desert, winter bird densities were 50 to 60 times higher and the number of species was eight times higher than in the surrounding open desert. At the same site, breeding bird densities were 15 times higher with 6 times the number of species [4]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Some arroyo habitats where desert rabbitbrush occurs provide den sites for the desert tortoise [14]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Rabbitbrush species (Chrysothamnus spp.) are useful for erosion control because of their deep roots, heavy litter production, and ability to establish on harsh sites. They establish well naturally from seed and artifically by transplanting [20]. Desert rabbitbrush has been used for revegetation of sulfur mine spoils in Nevada. One year following planting container-grown desert rabbitbrush on the Leviathan Mine in Nevada, desert rabbitbrush showed 88 percent survival; 4 years later, survival had decreased to 9 percent. Desert rabbitbrush can be transplanted on spoils without site preparation [5]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Desert rabbitbrush reportedly has a rubber content of 2.5 percent or more [11]. Rabbitbrush species are burned by the Hopi in religious ceremonies. The Hopi also use them in windbreaks, for making arrows, and in wicker work. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers, and a green dye from the inner bark [11]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Chrysothamnus paniculatus
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Desert rabbitbrush is a native, deciduous, highly-branched, rounded shrub 2 to 6.5 feet (0.6-2 m) tall [15,16,18,22]. The leaves are 0.8 to 1 inches (0.4- 3 cm) long [22]. Desert rabbitbrush flowers are arranged in small, densly clustered heads on the ends of numerous short branches. Numerous small bracts are tightly assembled in a series of rows at the base of each flower head [15,18]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Desert rabbitbrush reproduces by seed. Ripe achenes are easily dislodged from the plant by wind or any abrasive action [15]. The majority of rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus spp.) seeds are wind disseminated. Dissemination distances ranging from 130 to 165 yards (117-148 m) have been recorded for other species of rabbitbrush [26]. No specific information was available on germination or viability of desert rabbitbrush seeds; however, information is available on other rabbitbrush species [15,24,26]. Stevens and others [27] found that 80 percent of rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus) seeds stored for 2 years germinated, but seeds stored for 3 and 4 years had reduced germination of 65 and 34 percent, respectively. Seedlings of most rabbitbrush species are easily established by shallow planting on rough soil surfaces [15]. If consistent with other rabbitbrush species, desert rabbitbrush can also reproduce by sprouting from the root crown [20]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Desert rabbitbrush is found along roadsides, streambanks, terraces, sandy washes, and dry rocky slopes and arroyos at elevations between 2,500 and 4,000 feet (762-1,219 m) [1,13,14,18,22]. It can grow in extremely poor soils and is resistant to low temperatures [25]. Rabbitbrush species are tolerant of moisture stress and salt stress [23]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : NO-ENTRY SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Desert rabbitbrush flowers mainly from September through December, but may also flower in May and June [11,16,18,22]. Seeds of many rabbitbrush species ripen over 2 to 4 weeks, and many are dislodged from the bush during that time. Seeds normally ripen in the late fall and early winter [15].


SPECIES: Chrysothamnus paniculatus
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Specific information is not available regarding the fire ecology and adaptations of desert rabbitbrush. However, most rabbitbrush species vigorously sprout from the root crown after fire and therefore establish well on burned sites. They also have prolific seed production and vigorous spring growth [20]. Rabbitbrush species are prolific litter producers and investigations have shown that this has contributed to excessive fire fuels on some sites [20]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Chrysothamnus paniculatus
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Information is not available regarding the effects of fire on desert rabbitbrush; however, this shrub is probably top-killed by moderate to severe fire. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Information is not available regarding desert rabbitbrush response to fire. However, if consistent with other rabbitbrush species, desert rabbitbrush probably recovers well after fire by sprouting from the root crown. Desert rabbitbrush sprouts and seedlings are probably abundant the first years after fire. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Chrysothamnus paniculatus
REFERENCES : 1. Anderson, Loran C. 1986. An overview of the genus Chrysothamnus (Asteraceae). In: McArthur, E. Durant; Welch, Bruce L., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on the biology of Artemisia and Chrysothamnus; 1984 July 9-13; Provo, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-200. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 29-45. [328] 2. Benson, Lyman; Darrow, Robert A. 1981. The trees and shrubs of the Southwestern deserts. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. [18066] 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] 4. Berry, Kristin H. 1980. A review of the effects of off-road vehicles on birds and other vertebrates. In: DeGraaf, Richard M., technical coordinator. Management of western forests and grasslands for nongame birds: Workshop proceedings; 1980 February 11-14; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-86. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 451-467. [17918] 5. Butterfield, Richard I.; Tueller, Paul T. 1980. Revegetation potential of acid mine wastes in northeastern California. Reclamation Review. 3: 21-31. [12583] 6. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806] 7. England, A. Sidney; Foreman, Larry D.; Laudenslayer, William F., Jr. 1984. Composition and abundance of bird populations in riparian systems of the California deserts. In: Warner, Richard E.; Hendrix, Kathleen M., eds. California riparian systems: Ecology, conservation, and productive management. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 694-705. [5870] 8. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 9. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 10. 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] 11. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563] 12. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 13. McArthur, E. Durant; Meyer, Susan E. 1987. A review of the taxonomy and distribution of Chrysothamnus. In: Johnson, Kendall L., ed. Proceedings, 4th Utah shrub ecology workshop: The genus Chrysothamnus; 1986 September 17-18; Cedar City, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, College of Natural Resources: 9-17. [2718] 14. 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] 15. Monsen, Stephen B.; Stevens, Richard. 1987. Seed and seeding characteristics of rabbitbrush. In: Johnson, Kendall L., ed. Proceedings, 4th Utah shrub ecology workshop: The genus Chrysothamnus; 1986 September 17-18; Cedar City, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, College of Natural Resources: 41-49. [2722] 16. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924] 17. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 18. Shreve, F.; Wiggins, I. L. 1964. Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran Desert. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 2 vols. [21016] 19. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 20. Tueller, Paul E.; Payne, E. Don. 1987. The ecology and management of the genus Chrysothamnus. In: Johnson, Kendall L., ed. Proceedings, 4th Utah shrub ecology workshop: The genus Chrysothamnus; 1986 September 17-18; Cedar City, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, College of Natural Resources: 1-8. [2717] 21. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 22. 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] 23. Sankhla, Narendra; Davis, Tim D.; Weber, Darrell J.; McArthur, E. Durrant. 1987. Biology and economic botany of Chrysothamnus (rabbitbrush): a potentially useful shrub for arid regions. J. Econ. Tax. Bot. 10(2): 481-496. [5592] 24. Deitschman, Glenn H.; Jorgensen, Kent R.; Plummer, A. Perry. 1974. Purshia DC. bitterbrush. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 686-688. [7735] 25. 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] 26. McKell, Cyrus M. 1956. Some characteristics contributing to the establishment of rabbitbrush, Chrysothamnus spp. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State College. 130 p. Dissertation. [1609] 27. Stevens, Richard; Jorgensen, Kent R.; Davis, James N. 1981. Viability of seed from thirty-two shrub and forb species through fifteen years of warehouse storage. Great Basin Naturalist. 41(3): 274-277. [2244]

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