Chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum) is the most widespread plant in the chaparral habitat. It is an adaptable and drought-tolerant shrub native to California and can grow in nutrient-poor soil and dry rocky outcrops. Chamise stems are made of dense wood; the plant serves as an indicator species for chaparral habitats. Chamise is an important plant for the survival of several species of butterflies. Soon after a chaparral wildfire, new shoots of growth emerge from the burl at the base of the shrub.

See more photos of the Chamise at the San Diego Natural History Museum’s San Diego County Plant Atlas.

PHOTO CREDIT: Botany Department, SDNHM