Common: Burro Brush, Greasebush, Cheesebush, Cheeseweed
Botanical: Hymenoclea salsola
Southwestern United States
- SE California, Nevada, SW Utah eastward through Arizona to S New Mexico and W Texas
This shrub of the hot deserts (Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan) is usually found below an elevation of 4000 feet. It is also known as white burrobrush and cheeseweed, the latter name coming from the cheese-like odor released when the foliage is crushed. It generally grows in sandy washes where it forms a rounded shrub occasionally exceeding 4 feet in height. The smooth, dark, yellowish-green leaves are very narrow and are rather inconspicuous along the similarly colored twigs. The flowers are surrounded by rather conspicuous, somewhat white or off-white, translucent scales that are suggestive of petals, and including these scales are about a quarter-inch in diameter. Blooming is generally in the spring, from March to May. The fruit is a small winged bur.