Rubber Rabbitbrush

Common Names:
Rubber Rabbitbrush, Gray Rabbitbrush, Chamisa
Scientific name:
Ericameria nauseosa
Subspecies | Variants:
Ericameria nauseosa ssp. consimilis, Ericameria nauseosa var. bernardina, Ericameria nauseosa var. ceruminosa, Ericameria nauseosa var. hololeuca, Ericameria nauseosa var. leiosperma, Ericameria nauseosa var. mohavensis, Ericameria nauseosa var. oreophila, Ericameria nauseosa var. speciosa, Ericameria nauseosa var. washoensis
Chrysothamnus nauseosus
Elevation range:
500 - 10,795 ft
Flowering Months:
July, August, September, October
Height | Length:
2 - 7 ft.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Pollinator or food source for:
Wind pollinated, Pungent scent, Nesting place for birds
Ancestral Usage:
medicinal, ritual or tobacco, textile dye, fuel
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Great Basin, Mojave

Rubber Rabbitbrush has historically had wide variety of uses among Native Americans, including: fuel, chewing gum, tea for sore throats or for pain relief, basketry, smoking hides, and as a yellow dye.

Greater sage-grouse, which are in decline and have been declared as threatened or near-threated by various institutions, use this plant as cover. Other birds and mammals use it for shelter, including jackrabbits, cottontails, woodrats, mice, and small birds.

Rubber Rabbitbrush was used during World War II as a source for quality rubber. Plants in the Los Alamos area of New Mexico have extremely high levels of radioactive strontium-90.