Turpentine Bush

A sure sign of autumn here in southern Arizona is when Turpentine Bush (Ericameria laricifolia) begins to bloom.

Turpentine Bush (Ericameria laricifolia) flowers

These fall-blooming subshrubs have brilliant golden yellow flowers and dark green foliage. Turpentine Bush gets its common name because the crushed leaves have a distinctive odor of turpentine. This is a good way to identify these plants when they are not in bloom.

Turpentine Bush (Ericameria laricifolia)

Turpentine Bushes can be found growing in the deserts around Tucson (I have several in my neighborhood), but they are far more common in upland areas around 4000 feet (1219 m) in elevation. A good place to find blooming Turpentine Bushes near Tucson is in Molino Canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountains in October and early November.