Baccharis halimifolia


Also known as:

Cotton-seed tree, groundsel bush, groundsel tree

Family: Asteraceae

Origin: North America

A short baccharis tree with small leaves growing out of a flowerpot.
Baccharis shrubs are a fast-growing, medium to large, deciduous shrub.
Photo credit: Trevor James, Agresearch

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Evergreen, much-branched shrub < 4 m tall. Stems are ribbed and mealy when young, becoming smooth with age. Leaves are oblong, apetiolate, toothed and alternate. Flowers are small, cream and borne in terminal flowerheads February – May. Achenes bear pappus.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell baccharis within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant baccharis within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any baccharis on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.


Rock crevices, open and dry hillside, pastures, wasteland.


Seeds dispersed by wind and water.

Impact on environment

Reduces livestock movement and pasture productivity. Potential to suppress native species in rocky outcrops, wetlands and other habitats.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Maintaining good pasture cover will suppress an infestation.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig or grub out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications:

For small infestations: Foliar spray with 10ml glyphosate green per 1L of water.

Basic Growsafe certified:

For medium to large infestations: Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green per 10L of water.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Close up of the baccharis tree flowers in clusters of white flowers with red bases.
Flowers are small, cream and borne in terminal flowerheads.
Photo credit: Jane Shelby Richardson
Close up of the fluffy flowerheads of the baccharis.
Baccharis shrubs are part of the daisy family.
Photo credit: Bob Peterson