Brittle Bush (Encelia farinosa)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Brittle Bush
Encelia farinosa
Compositae

A resin that exudes from the ends of mature stems is used as a glue and as an incense in the home and in church[61, 177, 181, 207, 257]. It has also been used to waterproof containers and has been melted then used as a varnish[257].

The resinous branches have been used to make a quick fire[257].

  • Medicinal Use

    A decoction of the blossoms, leaves and stems has been held in the mouth to alleviate a toothache[257]. A poultice of the plant has been used to alleviate pain[257].

  • Edible Use

    A gum that exudes from the ends of mature stems is used for chewing[61, 161, 177]. It is aromatic[207].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed and pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle[200]. Grow on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter, making sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate the tap root, and plant out in early summer. Cuttings, in pure sand, in a frame[200]. The report does not specify the type of cutting.
Requires a very warm sunny position in a deep very well-drained soil[200, 260]. Plants strongly resent wet conditions, especially in the winter[200]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10¡c[200]. Another report says that the plants will tolerate temperatures down to -12¡c if they are in quite dry conditions[260]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[K]. Plants have a taproot and resent root disturbance[200]. They should be planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small, though they will then need protection from the cold for their first winter or so[K].
South-western N. America – California to Utah and Arizona.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.