Eastern baccharis

Baccharis halimifolia


Photo credit: ©Jaun Antonio Campos Prieto
Baccharis halimifolia
Common name:
  • Eastern baccharis
  • Groundsel tree
  • Groundsel bush
  • Sea myrtle
  • Saltbush

  • Beaches and marshes near the shore
  • Inland habitats, like pastures, ditches and roadsides

  • Eastern baccharis is a long-living deciduous shrub, growing 1-6m tall. Its bark is deeply fissured, and its leaves are slightly resinous and elliptic in shape.
  • Its flowers are closely clustered together. Its cylindrical fruits contain a single seed, and have a ring of silvery-white bristles, which aid in dispersing fruit on the wind.

Origin and Worldwide Distribution:
  • It is native to North America, primarily the Bahamas, Canada, Cuba and the USA.
  • It is now well established in parts of Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, the Great Britain and Australia where it has spread into a wide range of habitats.

Potential or Known Impacts:
  • The shrub can grow into dense impenetrable thickets that choke all other native vegetation, altering the structure of the original habitats and causing serious damage to the ecosystem services they provide.
  • It can also be toxic for livestock.
  • It produces abundant amounts of seeds which increases the chances of the species spreading further into Member States.

How could it get here?
  • It was first imported into Europe as an ornamental plant and, in some areas, was also intentionally introduced to act as a windbreak along coastal dunes.

Is it found in Northern Ireland?
  • It is not present in Northern Ireland.

Methods for Prevention:
  • EU-wide measures to prevent further invasion include the prohibition of sales and of keeping, planting or propagating the species. Furthermore, they provide for the rapid eradication of any newly establishing population and the management of existing populations.
  • Know what you grow.
  • Don't swap cuttings, seedlings or seeds if you are uncertain of the identity.
  • Don't take cuttings from the wild.
  • Report all sightings.
  • EU (EPPO) Risk Assessment.

You can help by reporting any sightings: @ the Centre for Environmental Data & Recording (CEDaR) - Or via the iRecord App.
Current Legislative Position (Listed on 03 August 2016)
  • This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment.
For further queries, you can contact the Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558 or Email: invasivespecies@daera-ni.gov.uk  
Invasive Species Northern Ireland

Invasive Species Northern Ireland