Habit: multi-stemmed, densely branched, rounded shrub that is evergreen in warmer climates, otherwise losing its leaves in the fall. Young stems are fuzzy and reddish brown becoming smooth, shiny and flaky with age. Gray green fragrant leaves are small and fern like appearing very feathery, although they are thick and sticky to the touch. The fragrant, white 5-petal rose like flowers have yellow stamen and are grouped together forming a pyramidal lilac like inflorescence at the ends of erect branches. Fruit is a brown follicle in dense clusters that usually persist through the winter. Leaves turn yellow in autumn. Blooms June through August.
Ecology: Chamaebatiaria millefolium is found in the western states on rocky, dry slopes, or canyon edges, usually in pinyon-juniper woodlands, at elevations between 3,400-10,200 ft (1000-3100 m).
Growing Conditions: full sun, well-drained coarse, rocky soil, can be used in xeric gardens
It is very attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. Desert sweet has often been found near ruins in Western North America leading some to believe it has been used by ancient Native American civilizations.