rabbitbrush, name for shrubby plants of the American genus Chrysothamnus of the family Asteraceae (aster family). They grow in arid regions of the W United States and in Mexico and are characteristic chaparral plants. The latex found in many species has been suggested as a source of rubber. Attention was first drawn to them because the Paiute chew the wood and bark as a crude chewing gum. Many rabbitbrushes are good browsing plants for sheep and wildlife. The flower buds have been gathered by the Native Americans for food. Rabbitbrush is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.