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Mule Fat

Baccharis salicifolia

In stock

1 gallon

Plant Care

Native region:

Local Native

Water needs:



Mature size:

Growth rate:

Full Sun



Flower color:

Flower season:


Pink; White; Yellow


If can be cut down to just a few inches above the ground if it's looking dead and weedy, and will grow back nicely.




Nectar pollinators:


Nighttime pollinators:


Rabbit resistant:


A flowering shrub native to the desert southwest of the United States and northern Mexico, as well as parts of South America. Its usual common name is mule fat; it is also called seepwillow or water-wally. This is a large bush with sticky foliage which bears plentiful small, fuzzy, pink or red-tinged white flowers. The long pointed rich green leaves may be toothed and look similar to willows. It is most common near water sources.
Mulefat is an extremely tough and easy to grow plant, flowers year round, and is a great choice if you are hoping to attract pollinators. Butterflies use the blossoms as a nectar source and bees collect pollen from the flowers. The downside is that it requires a fair amount of water to look good year round. Place in a naturally moist area, or be prepared to regularly irrigate during the dry season. It is quite drought tolerant once established, but will look weedy and unattractive without some supplemental irrigation. If it does get weedy, cut down to 3-4 inches above the base and it will resprout with all fresh green foliage. Mulefat is a thicket forming shrub. It is useful as a screen, windbreak or slope stabilization.

Growing Plants in the Desert — Important Information

The information presented here is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and based on my research from reliable sources, observations I have made of plants growing in my, and other gardens I have visited, and observations of the plants in their native habitats. I would appreciate your feedback and experience to help me educate others! 


Cacti: In my experience, cacti are much happier in the filtered shade here in the low desert of the Coachella Valley. Colors are more vibrant and they bloom more profusely, especially the non-native varieties. If you pay attention to how our native barrel and beavertail opuntia grow in the wild, it is frequently tucked in the rocks under creosote or another shrub.


Light Requirements: I have found that in our desert (Sonoran/Colorado) “full sun” plants can take and appreciate the late afternoon filtered sun, especially in the hot summer months.

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