Like the more widespread encelia farinosa
(brittlebush), encelia californica
is a large, shrub-like plant with long, slender stems bearing many green leaves and big yellow flowers, found along the coastline of south California and the foothills of nearby mountain ranges. Flowers grow singly (unlike brittlebush), and consist of 15 to 25 grooved ray florets (up to 1.5 inches long) around a center of purple-brown disc florets that become elongated and lighter in color when mature. The smooth stems branch from the base and develop a woody bark.