M. Whalen (1977) recognized two varieties of Bebbia juncea: var. aspera, which occurs in the flora area and in northern Mexico, and var. juncea, which occurs in Mexico (Baja California and Baja California Sur). Variety juncea has generally broader, obtuse, rounded or apiculate, ovate to elliptic phyllaries.
Wiggins 1964, Felger 2000, Benson and Darrow 1981, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: sweetbush Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Small, intricately branched, many stemmed shrub, 80-120 cm tall; stems slender and brittle, glabrous or nearly so. Leaves: Sparse and readily deciduous, leaving stems naked and reedlike; mostly opposite but distal leaves sometimes alternate; sessile; blades filiform to linear, 0.5-3 mm wide, 1-3 cm long, entire or remotely and obscurely toothed, sometimes gland-dotted or stipitate-glandular. Flowers: Flower heads discoid, solitary or in loose clusters at branch tips, on peduncles 1-10 cm long; involucre (the ring of bracts surrounding the flower head) campanulate, 1 cm wide, the bracts (phyllaries) ovate to lance-linear, 1-6 mm long, in 3-5 series, the outer ones herbaceous and minutely villous, inner ones stramineous; florets all discs, the corollas orange-yellow, tubular, 4-6 mm long, with 5 minute teeth at the top. Fruits: Achenes 2-3 mm long, densely strigose with ascending, fine but stiffish hairs; topped with a pappus of 12-18 plumose bristles, 4-8 mm long, white to slightly tawny. Ecology: Found in sandy washes and on rocky slopes, up to 4,000 ft (1219 m); flowers throughout the year. Distribution: s CA, s NV, s UT, AZ, s NM, sw TX; south to n MEX and the tip of Baja. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Bebbia is named for Michael Schuck Bebb (1833-1895), an amateur systematic botanist who did extensive work on the genus Salix; juncea means rush-like, which refers to the leafless stems. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2015