Summary of desert broom and its traditional use

Kumeyaay name: samaall kwsiyaay

Desert Broom (Baccharis sarothroides)


Desert Broom is native to the Sonoran Desert and other southwestern states. This flowering shrub, also known as greasewood, has a spindly, twiggy appearance for much of the year. In season, desert broom produces tiny, green flowers abundantly.

The boughs of the desert broom were used by the Kumeyaay when building thatched homes. These homes are called 'ewaa’ (house). The Kumeyaay also use an infusion of this plant when struggling with coughs or stomachaches.



Desert broom dried flowers and fruit

By Katja Schulz, via Wikimedia Commons