Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Encelia frutescens


SPECIES: Encelia frutescens
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Esser, Lora L. 1993. Encelia frutescens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : ENCFRU SYNONYMS : Encelia frutescens forma virginensis Hall Encelis frutescens var. virginensis Blake SCS PLANT CODE : ENFR COMMON NAMES : bush encelia brittlebush TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for bush encelia is Encelia frutescens (Gray) Gray [16]. There are no subspecies, forms, or natural hybrids. Recognized varieties are as follows [10,26]: E. frutescens var. frutescens Gray E. frutescens var. resinosa Jones LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Encelia frutescens
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Bush encelia occurs in the Mojave and Colorado deserts of southern California, westward to eastern San Diego County [16]. Its range extends eastward through central and southern Nevada to southern Utah and Arizona [11,16,26]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES30 Desert shrub FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe STATES : AZ CA NV UT BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 3 Southern Pacific Border 7 Lower Basin and Range 12 Colorado Plateau KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K039 Blackbrush K041 Creosotebush K042 Creosotebush - bursage K043 Paloverde - cactus shrub K046 Desert: vegetation largely lacking K058 Grama - tobosa shrubsteppe SAF COVER TYPES : 242 Mesquite SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Bush encelia occurs as isolated individuals or in small groups on talus and slickrock in blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) and shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia) communities, and in creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) and Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) communities [26]. In southwestern Utah, bush encelia is found in xeroriparian communities and arroyo habitats [15].


SPECIES: Encelia frutescens
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : In arroyo habitats of southwestern Utah, bush encelia is important to the desert tortoise as a source of succulent forage in periods of low moisture [15]. The seeds produced by white brittlebush (Encelia farinosa), a species of the genus Encelia similar to bush encelia, are eaten by birds and rodents [28]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : In arroyo habitats with a high shrub density and rough topography, bush encelia provides important habitat and environmental cover for the desert tortoise [15]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Bush encelia is an early colonizer of disturbed sites. Disturbances such as debris flows, borrow pit excavations, and drainage channels are colonized rapidly by bush encelia [18,23]. The population of bush encelia will increase in numbers with a corresponding increase in the level of disturbance. The population will decrease in numbers if longer-lived species increase in population numbers [23]. Bush encelia is an occasional plant on disturbed sites in the Mercury Valley and Amargosa Valley of southern Nevada [27]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Encelia frutescens
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Bush encelia is a short-lived, drought-deciduous, perennial, native shrub. It is rounded and many branched, growing from 1.5 to 5 feet (0.5-1.5 m) tall [16,26]. Stems are ascending to erect. Leaves are 0.4 to 0.8 inch (1-2 cm) long [16,17]. The seeds of bush encelia have flat surfaces and low mass, accounting for their excellent lofting ability [14]. The lifespan of bush encelia is unknown but is judged to be a few decades [24]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Hemicryptophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Bush encelia reproduces sexually. The seeds are dispersed by wind and have excellent lofting ability, but will not disperse well from the surface of the ground [14]. The fruit of bush encelia contains two hairy awns on the tip that catch wind currents [14]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Bush encelia is found in upland areas of low hills and alluvial valleys in desert environments [25]. It is common on rocky slopes and on impoverished, residual sands and gravels [21]. Bush encelia occurs in areas with slow internal drainage where the water table is near the surface of the soil. In the Nevada Test Site area, the soils are highly alkaline and may be salt encrusted at the surface [27]. Bush encelia is a rare shrub in the Kelso Dunes area of the Mojave Desert [21]. It occurs in spring and seepage areas of the Mojave Desert where the soils are moist year-round or are seasonally saturated [27]. Bush encelia inhabits naturally disturbed areas such as drainage channels and areas with substrate alterations [18]. Elevation: In the Mojave and Colorado deserts of southern California, bush encelia occurs at elevations from 1,700 to 6,000 feet (525-1,830 m) [18,25]. On rocky slopes and mesas of Arizona, bush encelia grows at elevations up to 4,000 feet (1,200 m) [11]. In southwestern Utah, it is found at elevations of 4,000 feet (1,220 m) [15]. In southern Nevada, bush encelia can be found at elevations of 5,000 feet (1,500 m) [27]. Climate: In the deserts of California, the seasonal and diurnal temperatures are highly variable. Mean summer maximum temperatures are from 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (37-42 deg C), and mean winter minimum temperatures are from 30 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1-5.5 deg C) [17]. The average annual precipitation in these desert environments is from 2 to 8 inches (5.1-20.3 cm) [17]. Plant associates: Common associates of bush encelia not mentioned in Distribution and Occurrence include: wirelettuce (Stephanomeria pauciflora), shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia), teddybear cholla (Opuntia bigelovii), rayless goldenhead (Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus), desertholly (Atriplex hymenelytra), desertsenna (Cassia armata), narrowleaf goldenbush (Happlopappus linearifolius), alkali goldenbush (Haplopappus acradenius), iva (Iva acerosa), desert polygala (Polygala acanthoclada), Cooper wolfberry (Lycium cooperi), desert almond (Prunus fasciculata), ephedra (Ephedra spp.), liveforever (Dudleya spp.), agave (Agave spp.), yucca (Yucca spp.), brickellia (Brickellia spp.), rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus spp.), euphorbia (Euphorbia spp.), buckwheat (Erigonum spp.), shrubby alkali aster (Aster intricatus), thistle (Cirsium mohavense), false sunflower (Enceliopsis nudicaulis), alkaliweed (Cressa truxillensis), Montana pepperweed (Lepidium montanum), and snakeweed (Gutierrezia spp.) [2,18,21]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Obligate Initial Community Species Succession in most desert communities requires a few centuries and in creosotebush communities it could take several thousands of years for stable communities to establish [25]. Succession in desert communities has not been well documented for this reason. Bush encelia colonizes recently disturbed sites such as debris flows, borrow pits, and drainage channels [23,25]. It is a short-lived invader that increases its population size with a corresponding increase in the level of disturbance [23]. Bush encelia maintains low numbers in small natural disturbances within the mature community. In the Mojave desert, a borrow pit was excavated in 1970-71 to a depth of 3.3 to 6.6 feet (1-2 m). Large-scale seedling establishment by bush encelia occurred following the excavation. The heavily disturbed bottom of the pit was colonized by a scrub community of low bushes dominated by bush encelia [23]. The undisturbed area around the pit was dominated by a creosotebush scrub community consisting of long-lived shrubs. On partially-disturbed sites on the sides of the borrow pit, bush encelia was less common than in the more heavily disturbed sites. The plant density of bush encelia per hectare on: A-an undisturbed control area; B-the heavily disturbed borrow pit bottom; and C-the partially disturbed pit sides are as follows [23]: A B C 1979 1973 1975 1979 1973 1975 1979 bush encelia 16 2446 2800 2837 1464 1514 1500 SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Flowering occurs from February to May in California [17] and from January to September in Arizona [11]. Bush encelia is probably drought deciduous, as are other species of Encelia [28].


SPECIES: Encelia frutescens
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Information regarding the fire ecology of bush encelia is sparse. It is assumed that, like other desert encelias, it depends on off-site seed rather than on-site sprouts for regeneration following fire [28]. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Encelia frutescens
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : NO-ENTRY DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : NO-ENTRY DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : The seeds of bush encelia are well adapted to wind dispersal. White brittlebush will seed into burned-over areas, and it is assumed that bush encelia will also. Areas of the desert important to the desert tortoise that have been burned could be seeded with bush encelia for habitat improvement [28].


SPECIES: Encelia frutescens
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Plant photosensitizers: a survey of their occurrence in arid and semiarid plants from North America. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 15(1): 345-355. [7658] 6. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 7. 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] 8. Hastings, James R.; Turner, Raymond M.; Warren, Douglas K. 1972. An atlas of some plant distributions in the Sonoran Desert. Technical Reports on the Meteorology and Climatology of Arid Regions No. 21. Tuscon, AZ: University of Arizona, Institute of Atmospheric Physics. 255 p. [10534] 9. Holland, Robert F. 1986. Preliminary descriptions of the terrestrial natural communities of California. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Fish and Game. 156 p. [12756] 10. Kartesz, John T.; Kartesz, Rosemarie. 1980. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Volume II: The biota of North America. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press; in confederation with Anne H. Lindsey and C. Richie Bell, North Carolina Botanical Garden. 500 p. [6954] 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. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496] 14. Maddox, Jay C.; Carlquist, Sherwin. 1985. Wind dispersal in Californian desert plants: experimental studies and conceptual considerations. Aliso. 11(1): 77-96. [3256] 15. 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] 16. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155] 17. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924] 18. Prose, D. V.; Metzger, Susan K.; Wilshire, H. G. 1987. Effects of substrate disturbance on secondary plant succession; Mojave Desert, California. Journal of Applied Ecology. 24: 305-313. [4590] 19. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 20. Shreve, Forrest. 1942. The desert vegetation of North America. Botanical Review. 8(4): 195-246. [5051] 21. Thorne, Robert F.; Prigge, Barry A.; Henrickson, James. 1981. A flora of the higher ranges and the Kelso Dunes of the eastern Mojave Desert in California. Aliso. 10(1): 71-186. [3767] 22. 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] 23. Vasek, Frank C.; Barbour, Michael G. 1977. Mojave desert scrub vegetation. In: Barbour, M. G.; Major, J., eds. Terestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 835-867. [3730] 24. Vasek, Frank C. 1979. Early successional stages in Mojave Desert scrub vegetation. Israel Journal of Botany. 28: 133-148. [4579] 25. Webb, Robert H.; Steiger, John W.; Turner, Raymond M. 1987. Dynamics of Mojave Desert shrub assemblages in the Panamint Mountains, California. Ecology. 68(3): 478-490; 1987. [2473] 26. 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] 27. Beatley, Janice C. 1976. Vascular plants of the Nevada Test Site and central-southern Nevada: ecologic and geographic distributions. [Washington, DC]: U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration, Divisionof Biomedical and Environmental Research. 308 p. Available from: NTIS, Springfield, VA22161; TID-26881. [19879] 28. Conrad, C. Eugene. 1987. Common shrubs of chaparral and associated ecosystems of southern California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-99. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 86 p. [4209] 29. Myers, Marlyce A.; Ellestrand, Norman C. 1986. Post-fire succession at an inland (Riversidian) site of coastal sage scrub: variation in community response. In: DeVries, Johannes J., ed. Proceedings of the chaparral ecosystems research conference; 1985 May 16-17; Santa Barbara, CA. Report No. 2. Davis, CA: University of California, California Water Resources Center: 129-132. [4833]