Stems: Woody base with many short branches.
Leaves: Triangular (2 inches long), with a narrow tip and broad (1/2 to 1 inch wide) base, simple, smooth edge, alternate; silvery-gray to whitish; underside hairy. Leaves located toward the ends of branches.
Flowers: Blooms in spring, also sporadically in response to rain. Flowers daisy-like, yellow, 2-inch diameter, on long brittle stalks held above the leaves.
Seeds: Many small seeds; dispersed long distances by wind.
Habitat: Hot, dry, well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils.
Elevation: To about 3,000 feet.
Distribution: Occurs across the southern deserts from California to southwestern Utah and south into Baja California and northwestern Mexico.
Comments: Brittlebush is browsed by mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), but it has little value for domestic livestock. Kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.) eat the seeds.
Brittlebush is hardy and easy to grow (transplants and seeds), making it useful for rehabilitating disturbed areas and for use in low maintenance landscapes (e.g., roadsides).
Brittlebush leaves produce a toxic substance that inhibits the growth of winter annuals.