Plant Spotlight: Baby Blue Rabbitbrush

| Colorado Native Plants, Flower Interest, Native Landscape Planning & Design
baby blue rabbitbrush in spring
baby blue rabbitbrush in summer
baby blue rabbitbrush in winter

Baby blue rabbitbrush across the seasons. Photos courtesy of Plant Select.

Rabbitbrush doesn’t get its full due. It is gorgeous when most of your garden has finished inspiring, and it’s bustling with insects looking for late season nectar at this time of year. Some people don’t like how rangy large rabbitbrush can get (see our cover picture), and for them, this dense and compact dwarf version is perfect. It adds interest in every season, especially late summer and autumn, when its bright yellow flowers (that can be used as a natural dye) ignite an otherwise fading landscape – in bloom, this shrub looks especially spectacular when grounded near and complementing (dare one say rivaling) the golden of shimmer of cottonwood, ash, and aspen above.

Here is the WOFR plant data sheet for Baby Blue rabbitbush or Dwarf Blue rabbitbush (also known as Chamisa), or its official name, Ericameria nauseous var. nauseous (formerly Chrysothamnus nauseous var. nauseous) – an important plant for the Front Range ecosystem. It is on the Recommended Plant List for the City of Fort Collins’ Nature in the City and Xeriscape Incentive Programs, which notes that Baby Blue rabbitbrush is an important larval and adult food host for many of our native invertebrates. 

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