Roosevelt Weed

Species: Baccharis neglecta
Family: Asteraceae
Order: Asterales
Status: Native to nearby counties

Other Common Names: False Willow, Jara Dulce, Poverty Weed

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Located in a sunny corner of the acre. Sep 24, 2012.

When I first took notice of this bush 3 years prior to the photo, it was about about 2.5 to 3 feet tall. Here it is about 6-7 feet and really bushed out to the sides.

Considering how well this does in harsh conditions, I’ve been surprised that it hasn’t begun spreading until 2018.

Roosevelt Weed 5-19-09 b.jpg

Same bush 3 yrs younger among much bare soil and mowed grass. May 19, 2009.

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A closer look at some branches and leaves. Mar 26, 2012.

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A closeup of the tiny flowers at the end of just one small branch. Oct 8, 2012.

I love when this bush blooms. Not only does it become fuller and prettier, but it emits an intense aroma of honey. When this happens, I can’t help but pause for several minutes, taking in one deep inhalation after another.

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In full bloom with butterflies, bees, wasps and flies. Oct 7, 2010.

I am amazed at the number of pollinators that visit this plant. Get anywhere near it, you hear a symphony of buzzing noises and see many varieties of bee, fly, wasp and butterfly species all feeding on this one bush. Here you can see a couple butterflies, as well as other insects flying above as well as resting on the branches. This was taken with an old phone camera, so you can’t see much detail, but all the black dots on the branches are pollinator insects.

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The ends of a couple branches full of flower buds. Sep 24, 2012.

This plant, although native to Texas, is considered one likely to be problematic since it can thrive in very dry, hot conditions and can spread and crowd out other native species. I don’t know everything the trained experts know, can just go by what I’m seeing. After 10 years of observation, I only now see it beginning to spread a little.

I wonder how much we can really know about what the proper balance of plants should be or if it should always remain about the same. Nature’s innate intelligence seems to very much exceed our own. It seems to me that, aside from trying to undo our past mistakes by using healthful, restorative practices, that we only inflict harm when we try to control, manipulate and subdue nature, specifically when it comes to native plants. Don’t these plants only really become a “problem” when we try to do things like mono-crop farming, large scale animal grazing, ornamental lawns, chemical pesticides and fertilizers? All harmful practices we can move away from.

My experience so far regarding “weeds taking over” has been that if I let all the wild plants grow (150+ species and counting), no single native or naturalized species takes over in a big way. One may thrive a whole lot for a year, then be much less prominent for awhile. Maybe they thrive when the soil most needs what they have to offer and they acquiesce when they are no longer needed so much?

Web pages to learn more about this plant: (

Texas A&M Horticulture (

Wikipedia (

USDA Plant Database (


2 thoughts on “Roosevelt Weed

  1. To whomever posted this link: I don’t share your fears about this plant. It has not “spread rapidly” on my property because I don’t poison, cut, slash and or burn anything that grows here. Therefore there’s a natural balance of plants that is maintained automatically. I never use poison for any reason on my property. Poison is POISON! It destroys and throws eco-systems out of balance. Poisoning plants also poisons soil microorganisms, and seeps into groundwater causing contamination. It would be a good idea if we all learn to trust the inherent intelligence in plants. They are there for a reason, and when they become seemingly “invasive”, it’s because you don’t understand the intelligence there. That the plant is trying to recover the health of the soil, the health of the ecosystem. Sit in nature and observe quietly. Watch without doing. Have an open mind and heart. The intelligence of nature will teach you much!


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