California brickellbush, known scientifically as brickellia californica, is a species of flowering plant in the asteraceae or daisy/sunflower family.
It is native to western North America from Baja California to as far north as Idaho, Northern Mexico, Sonora, Chihuahua, and Coahuila states; and much of the Western United States, across California to Oregon, northeast to Wyoming, and east through the Southwestern states to Colorado, New Mexico, West Texas and Oklahoma. In San Bernardino County it is present in the San Bernardino Mountains and in the Mojave Desert.
It is found below 8,900 feet, in many habitat types including forests, woodlands, scrub, grasslands, and deserts.
It is a common plant in many types of California habitats, including chaparral, coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, valley grassland, yellow pine forest, Sierra Nevada subalpine zones, and Mojave Desert sky islands. It is a common plant especially in dry areas, somewhat more common in the southern coastal part of California.
It is one of the most pleasantly fragrant of California native plants. Although not particularly beautiful even in bloom, its redolence comes out in the summer months when it is flowering, and the scent can carry a considerable distance.
A thickly branching shrub growing from a foot-and-a-half to six feet in height, its fuzzy, hairy leaves are roughly triangular in shape with toothed to serrated edges. The leaves are one-third inch to two-and-a-half inches long. Although it is in the sunflower family, the inconspicuous flowers look nothing like a sunflower, being very small and rayless. The flower clusters at the end of stem branches contain many small leaves and bunches of narrow, cylindrical flower heads. Each head is about 13 millimeters long and wrapped in flat, wide, purplish green overlapping phyllaries. At the tip of the head are a number of long white to pink disc florets. The fruit is a hairy cylindrical achene 3 millimeters long with a pappus of bristles. In the garden it is best used in a location where its fragrance can be appreciated but its lack of showiness will not detract.
The bloom period is August through November.
The Navajo and Kumeyaay (Diegueño) peoples used it as a traditional medicinal plant for fevers, coughs, and prenatal complications.
From Wikipedia and the California Native Plan Society’s website Calscape.