Desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides)

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The flowers of this four to five foot shrub are rather inconspicuous, but the thousands of silky, white seeds sometimes seem like an autumn snowdrift in the desert. Desert broom thrives in disturbed areas such as gravel pits, abandoned roadways, sandy washes and highway shoulders. The plants are leafless, with green stems doing the work of photosynthesis. The branches were sometimes used as brooms by Indians and pioneers, and it has been reported that Indians chewed the stems of this plant as a remedy for toothaches.

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