Hymenoclea salsola – Burrobrush

Hymenoclea salsola - Burrobrush, Burro Brush, Cheeseweed

Hymenoclea salsola - Burrobrush, Burro Brush, Cheeseweed

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Hymenoclea salsola

Common Names: Burrobrush, Burro Brush, Cheeseweed

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Drought-deciduous

Growth Habit: Subshrub

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert

Flower Color: Inconspicuous (whitish)

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: To 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, but usually less

Description: The inconspicuous flowers are only 3/8 inch (10 mm) wide and are followed by flower-like fruits with 5 shiny, cream-colored wings. The leaves are dark green, slender, and thread-like. The plants are straggly and rounded with numerous, slender branches. The crushed foliage smells like cheese.

Special Characteristics

Allergenic – The flower pollen is a moderate allergen.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus: Hymenoclea Torr. & A. Gray ex A. Gray – burrobrush
Species: Hymenoclea salsola Torr. & A. Gray – burrobrush

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map