All along the highways and byways and in my garden, Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) is in full bloom. This shrub is a great xeriscape plant because once established it does better with no supplemental water, which is the main reason it's used so much on freeways in this part of the country. The shrub grows quickly to about five feet high and wide. Daisy-like flowers are abundant in spring, and then appear intermittently throughout the summer.
The flowers grow on long stems, and make the plant look as if it has a golden halo surrounding it. My plant had a wonderful halo of flowers on 18-inch stems until gusty winds whipped them around helter-skelter. Although the flowers are still there, the halo effect is gone for the season.
The leaves of this plant are silvery gray and contrast perfectly with the bright yellow flowers, and are quite attractive in their own right. If given supplemental water, the leaves become quite large, but the plant doesn't produce many flowers.
Brittlebush, also called Incienso, has some other uses. The hint is in the name. I wrote about this in a previous post.