Brittlebush, Incienso

Encelia farinosa

Encelia farinosa, Photo by Lara Hartley

Color: Yellow

Common name: Brittlebush, Incienso

Latin name: Encelia farinosa


Height: 12-60 inches


Description: The daisy-shaped flowers are 3-3.5 cm diameter, with orange-yellow ray florets and yellow or purple-brown disc florets. Stems are much-branched above; young stems have densely interwoven and matted hairs, older stems have smooth bark.

Leaf: Leaves are clustered near stem tips, are egg to lance-shaped and silver or grey with densely interwoven and matted hairs.

Range: Desert, e South Coast and adjacent Peninsular Ranges

Habitat: Stony desert hillsides, Coastal scrub

Elevation: < 1000 m.

Flowering time: Mar–May

Notes: Encelia farinosa, a dicot, is a shrub that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. The Spanish name "Incienso" is because dried sap was burned in early New World Spanish Missions as incense. Its other common name comes from the brittleness of its stems. This top photo of this flower was photographed February 16, 2005.

We have an online wildflower field guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.

Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.

Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...

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