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Eriophyllum confertiflorum is a perennial small shrub.The plant grows in large clumps or stands of many erect stems often exceeding half a meter in height. It has greenish to gray-green stems and foliage, the leaves sharply lobed and divided. The top of each stem is occupied by an inflorescence of up to 30 flower heads, each bright golden yellow head with a large center of disc florets and usually a fringe of rounded to oval ray florets. The fruit is an achene with a very short pappus.
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Its flowers are bright yellow and bloom in early summer, does best with full sun, a little summer water, good drainage, excellent with Penstemons. Cold tolerant to 5 deg.F. or less. This one is ‘highly variable’ which means if you do not specify the site, you’ll get a funny looking plant. Munz separated out E.confertiflorum var. laxiflorum a sub-species with narrower stems and leaves. In reality, the northern form of E.confertiflorum is green and 2′, the central Calif. form is gray and 1′, the S. Calif. form is 2′ ft. and gray.
Delfina Cuero, a Kumeyaay or Southern Diegueno Indian, made the following comments about Eriophyllum confertiflorum in her autobiography: ” This is used for someone with pimples on their face. They were told to boil the whole plant and wash face in water to clear away the pimples”. The woolly fuzz that densely coves the leaves and stems was collected by Native Americans and used as a cure for rheumatism.
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