April 5, 2017

Dunes in Bloom: Coastal Sunflower


Coastal Sunflower Banner


Common Name(s): Bush sunflower, California brittlebush

Scientific Name: Encelia californica  

Family: Asteraceae

Plant Type: Shrub

Communities: Coastal sage scrub, chaparral

Habitat: coastal

Size:  1-2 ft wide, up to 4.5 ft tall


Coastal sunflower is an evergreen perennial sunflower from the daisy family that is native to California, specifically the central and southern coastal regions.  It is sometimes found outside of California, but within Western North America.  It is a very drought tolerant plant, which is ideal for California's climate.  It needs full sun in order to thrive.

It blooms from about February to June, and its flowers are always yellow.  Each flower has about 15-20 florets, and it has many thin branches with with widely spaced green leaves.

The coastal sunflower is an important host for the larvae of the Bay checkerspot butterfly, which is an endangered species.

The Dunes Center has coastal sunflowers in our native garden - come check them out while they're in bloom!




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