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© Daniel Parmentier
Baccharis halimifolia - Eastern baccharis

French name:  Séneçon en arbre
Dutch name: Struikaster
Family: Asteraceae
Group: Vascular plants
Origin: North America
Habitat: terrestrial
Introduction:  agri- and horticulture
ISEIA Score : 12
Naturalization in Belgium
First observation in the wild: 1924
Invasion stage: spread
Spatial distribution: isolated
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: high
Natural habitats: high
More on invasiveness: Baccharis halimifolia is highly resistant to salt spray and flooding. It grows naturally in a wide range of coastal habitats including the upper fringes of irregularly flooded tidal fresh, brackish marshes, dunes and open woods. It also colonises man-made environments. This plant is used in soil bioengineering systems to stabilize tidal shorelines because of its ability to root from a dormant, unrooted cutting. It produces a huge amount of wing-dispersed seeds that germinate easily in moist soils. It is expanding its distribution throughout much of its native range and in other regions of the globe to which it has been introduced (e.g. Australia and Europe).
Distribution in Belgium
Established populations
absent from district
isolated populations (1-5 localities per district)
widespread (>5 localities per district)
Endangered areas
low risk
medium risk
high risk

Endangered Natura 2000 habitats ():
coastal habitats: 1330
Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: low
Competition: high
Disease transmission: low
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: unknown
Physical alteration: high
Natural successions: high
Food web alteration: low
More on impacts: Baccharis is a weedy shrub and behaves as an early successional, woody invader of disturbed lowlandsboth throughout its native and introduced ranges. It grows fast and is mature within 2 years. It makes monospecific stands with a dense canopy which modifies micro-climatic conditions in dune ecosystems and outcompetes ground vegetation, namely some rare and threatened coastal herbs. Leaves of the plant are toxic for livestock. It may also be a nuisance in populated areas because its pollen and other airborne plant parts are believed to be allergenic. The plant is very inflammable and may increase fire hazards; it is intolerant of fire.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, Vanderhoeven Sonia, Van Landuyt Wouter, Van Rossum Fabienne, Verloove Filip
Published on:  04 December 2007
Last update:  17 December 2010
EPPO (2009)
Mini data sheet: Baccharis halimifolia (Asteraceae).
EPPO RS 2009/103
Ervin, G.N. (2009)
Distribution, habitat characteristics, and new county-level records of Baccharis halimifolia L. on a portion of its present US range boundary.
Southeastern Naturalist 8(2):293-304.
Lambinon, J., Delvosalle, L. & Duvigneaud, J. (2004)
Nouvelle fore de la Belgique, du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des régions voisines.
Editions du Patrimoine du Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise.
Muller, S. (2004)
Plantes invasives en France : état des connaissances et propositions d'actions.
Publication scientifique du Museum d'Histoire naturelle, Patrimoines naturels n°62.
Nesom, G. (2001)
Groundsel Tree—Baccharis halimifolia L.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Guide.
Van Deelen, T.R. (1991)
Baccharis halimifolia.
In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
Van Landuyt, W., Hoste, I., Vanhecke, L., Van den Bremt, P. Vercruysse, W. & De Beer, D. (2006)
Atlas van de Flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest.
Nationale Plantentuin en het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek i.s.m. Flo.Wer vzw.
Verloove, F. (2006)
Catalogue of the Neophytes in Belgium (1800-2005).
Scripta Botanica Belgica 39, 89 pp.
Westman, W.E., Panetta, F.D. & Stanley, T.D. (1975)
Ecological studies on reproduction and establishment of the woody weed, Groundsel Bush (Baccharis halimifolia L.: Asteraceae).
Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 26:855–870.

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