Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

(a.k.a. rubber rabbitbrush)

Close-up of small yellow flowers arranged at the end of white stems

Rabbitbrush is a rounded shrub generally 2 to 5 feet tall. It is often found growing along roadsides.

Livestock generally forage only lightly on this species, and it is considered to be of little value to all classes of livestock. It can be an important browse species for mule deer, pronghorn, and jackrabbits during fall and winter. It also provides cover for mammals and small nesting birds.

Rabbitbrush thrives in poor conditions and can tolerate coarse, alkaline soils. The species is useful in soil stabilization and restoration of disturbed sites. The deep root system establishes quickly, and plants produce large quantities of leaf litter, helping to bring nutrients to the soil surface from the deeper rooting profile. Its yellow flowers bloom from August to October.

It has been used as a yellow dye, to make a medicinal tea, and for chewing gum.

Species of Ericameria on the Navajo Endangered Species List:

  • Ericameria arizonica, Rydberg's thistle (Group 4 Navajo Endangered Species List)

Close-up of seedhead with fringed white hairs at its top.
Tall green stems with abundant green narrow leaves and sparse yellow flowerheads.
Tall green stems with abundant green narrow leaves and sparse yellow flowerheads.

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