Chamise is found on the poorest soils in hot, dry, exposed areas of chaparral plant communities. Bright green needle-like leaves cover this evergreen shrub. Late spring brings showy plumes of creamy white flowers in small dense sprays, persisting as they age to reddish brown. This tough shrub can grow 3-10 ft tall and wide depending on conditions. An excellent erosion control plant for tough sites where it holds soil, provides cover for wildlife and acts as a nurse plant, paving the way for the other species to get started. Plant in full sun with no water required once established.
A major component of the chaparral community, chamise is adapted to fire and burns readily. Thought should be given to placement with consideration to topography, prevailing winds and structures. When cut back hard, chamise responds with vigorous re-sprouting of fresh new growth.