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Yerba Santa

Eriodictyon californicum (Hook. and Arn.) Greene.

Yerba santa
Figure 128.—Yerba santa (Eriodictyon californicum)
Synonym.Eriodictyon glutinosum Benth.

Other common names.—Mountain balm, consumptive's weed,* bear's-weed, gum plant, tarweed.

Habitat and range.—Yerba santa is common on the Pacific coast along the coastal ranges from central California north to Oregon.

Description.—This evergreen shrub, which reaches a height of from 3 to 4 feet, has a smooth stem which exudes a gummy substance. The narrow, dark-green, leathery leaves are from 3 to 4 inches in length and are covered with a resinous substance which makes them appear as if varnished. The rather showy, whitish, or pale-blue flowers are borne in clusters at the top of the plant.

Part used.—The leaves.

*This is a popular but misleading name.

Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update Friday, April 3, 1998 by aw