Baccharis dioica

Baccharis dioica Vahl  

Common Names: Broom Bush

Family: Asteraceae

Habit: Baccharis dioica grows as a many branching glabrous shrub to 3 meters in height. The leaves are arranged alternately, petiolate, to 5 cm in length, oblong to obovate rounded leaf apex.

The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in panicles of monoecious heads. The heads are subtended by a series of involucral bracts. The calyx is modified as a ring of hairs (pappus).  Staminate heads have 20-25 flowers and carpellate heads have 50-60 flowers.

The staminate flowers have 5 white fused petals and 5 stamens. The carpellate flowers have a corolla with 5 fused, white petals and no stamens. The ovary is inferior with a single locule.  The fruit is an achene at maturity that retains the modified calyx (pappus).

Habitat: Baccharis dioica grows in coastal areas of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Shrublands (coastal scrublands) as well as the edges of Fresh Water Wetlands.

Distribution: Baccharis dioica occurs throughout the Lucayan Archipelago, Florida and the entire Caribbean region.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Baccharis dioica is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.