Plant Encyclopedia

Dwarf Blue Rabbitbrush

Ericameria nauseosa

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Dwarf Blue Rabbitbrush, small green cluster with yellow flowers

Discover More Information On Dwarf Blue Rabbitbrush

If you are looking for a native shrub to add to your landscape, it might be time to take a peek at the Dwarf Blue rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa). Better Homes & Gardens even named it one of their “Standout Plants of the Mountain West.” It is a Colorado native and can tolerate typical weather and soil conditions of the region. The Dwarf Blue rabbitbrush is a stylish shrub for your outdoor spaces.

Plant Attributes

The Dwarf Blue rabbitbrush is known for its vivid color and compact size. You will notice small clusters of bright blooms in mid-summer. These showy flowers last until the fall. Butterflies also love those beautiful blooms. The foliage ranges in color from dusty silver-green to deep blue-green. When the leaves are pressed, this shrub emits a pleasant scent. During the winter, the Ericameria nauseosa continues to provide some interest for your landscape. The fluffy light brown seed heads replace the yellow blooms, and they will last throughout the colder months.

Landscape Use

Throughout the Colorado landscape, you can find rabbitbrushes dotting the open spaces. This shrub is hardy, and it makes an excellent plant for those areas that need a little boost of color. For a native garden, mix this shrub with other types of native plants and grasses.

Since the Dwarf Blue rabbitbrush gives off a scent, place it near a backyard patio. With the yellow blossoms, the local pollinators will end up in your yard. If you want to enjoy these friendly visitors, place this shrub in a spot where you can view the bees and butterflies.

The Ericameria nauseosa is an ideal option for a low hedge. You can add them for the perfect hedge along your fence, property line, or driveway. With that gorgeous yellow color, these areas are sure to shine in your landscape.

Due to its deep root system, this Dwarf Blue rabbitbrush works well in spots with erosion issues. The roots help to secure hills and other troubled places in your landscape. Finally, this rabbitbrush excels as a focal point for your xeriscape. You should add other low-water plants and shrubs for a spectacular maintenance-free garden.

Planting & Care

This rabbitbrush thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8, and it can survive in elevations up to 8,500 feet. The Ericameria nauseosa can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. However, it does prefer dry, alkaline soils. You should place them in a spot with full sun. Once it has established in your landscape, this rabbitbrush is a water-wise plant. After the first year, it will only require occasional watering.

Other than a little water in the garden, there is not much maintenance with this shrub. You might want to prune the outer third of the branches in late winter. If there are any seedheads in the shrub, late winter is also a great time to remove them. As a result, the Dwarf Blue rabbitbrush will develop into a bun-like mound as the foliage sprouts for the springtime. With this pruning schedule, your rabbitbrush will not become irregular in shape. It can regrow new branches from the crown during the spring.

Additional Information

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Dwarf Blue Rabbitbrush


If you want a small, compact, flowering shrub for your landscape, you cannot go wrong with the Dwarf Blue rabbitbrush. This native plant is perfect for those spots with low water conditions. It will dazzle your landscape with its compact mound of silvery-blue leaves. As summer progresses, you are treated to gorgeous yellow flower clusters. This rabbitbrush is a showstopper for your landscape. It is also the perfect low-maintenance plant for those Colorado gardens.

When you are ready to add this spectacular Dwarf Blue rabbitbrush to your landscape, reach out to the Arbor Valley Nursery experts. Our shrub nursery has a wide selection of plants, trees, flowers, and shrubs. Our team will help you find the right options for your outdoor spaces. If you have any questions or want to order, make sure to fill out the contact form.

Plant Features

  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Watering Needs: Low
  • Botanical Pronunciation: er-ik-kam-MEER-ee-uh naw-see-OH-sa
  • Deciduous/evergreen: Deciduous
  • Growth rate: Fast
  • Average landscape size: 1 to 3 feet in height and width
  • Special features: Beautiful yellow summer blooms, low water needs
    Foliage color: Silvery-blue to bluish-green
  • Blooms: Mid-summer
  • Flower color: Golden yellow
  • Flower attributes: Small flowers in clusters
  • Garden style: Xeriscape, rock gardens
  • Design Ideas: Perfect for landscapes with xeriscape gardens. Makes an exceptional addition as a low hedge. Line your driveway or walkway with these shrubs. Place in a spot where you can enjoy the brilliant yellow summer colors.
  • Companion Plants: Tall Western sage, Little Blue Stem, Blue Grama ‘Blonde Ambition,’ Silver Blade Evening primrose, and Prairie Jewel penstemon

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