Coyote bush (Baccharis pilularis) was originally divided into two subspecies: a low, prostrate form and an erect form. Since these two types intergrade completely (merge through intermediate forms), the subspecies designation has been discarded.
Also called chaparral broom, coyote bush is a native evergreen shrub found along the coastal ranges from Northern Baja, Mexico to Tillamook County OR. Isolated populations also occur in the Cascade and Sierra foothills.
The much-branched coyote bush is a member of the sunflower family. It grows from a taproot with long lateral roots. The light green, alternate leaves are oval and may be entire or toothed. Yellow male flowers and white female flowers occur on separate plants, clustered at the branch tips or in the leaf axils. The female flower heads contain only disc flowers. The coyote bush fruit is an achene (dry seed) with a pappus of tawny bristles.
Common on open hills and lower mountain slopes, coyote bush has low browse palatability.
These coyote bushes were growing atop Jacks Peak near Monterey CA.