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Common Name:

Groundsel Tree or Eastern Baccharis

Scientific Name:

Baccharis halimifolia

Family Name:

Compositae (Asteraceae)


Groundsel Tree is a deciduous to semi-evergreen medium shrub to small tree originally native to the coastal SE USA, but now more widespread in distribution. Shrubs are multiple stem with strongly upright branches forming a irregular upright oval to rounded crown of foliage. Plants are rather nondescript, tending to invade disturbed sites where it may become weedy. Clusters of small whitish fall flowers and showy white pappi on the female plants ar the primary asset. Off-season color in screens and hedges, naturalized plantings, and erosion control are the main uses.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, medium shrub, large shrub, tree, small tree



Flower Color:

Whitish green, dioecious in small clusters, mildly interesting

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Small heads of achenes with silvery white pappi, showy en masse


5 ft to 12 ft


7 ft to 12 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Non-Defined Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Non-Defined Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Non-Defined Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Non-Defined Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Non-Defined Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

USDA Hardiness Zones:

5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Near the northern edge of its range, it is sometiems grown as a subshrub or herbaceous perennial.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.