Definition of chamise in US English:



  • An evergreen shrub with small narrow leaves, common in the chaparral of California.

    Adenostoma fasciculatum, family Rosaceae

    Also called greasewood
    • ‘At the higher elevations, manzanita is the abundant shrub, while midslope shrubs include chamise, coffeeberry, redberry, and two kinds of mountain mahoganies.’
    • ‘Following a fire, Chamise sprouts rapidly from its basal burl (root crown) and soon outgrows most competitors.’
    • ‘In one series of experiments, eight test plots were established under the chamise canopy to examine the effect of four factors: animal activity, soil heating, additional nutrients, and heating plus nutrients.’
    • ‘Each species was then subjected to three different treatments: aqueous leachate from chamise foliage, powdered charred chamise wood, and leachate and charred wood.’
    • ‘Interestingly, of the six native fire-followers exposed to chamise leachate, none showed significant differences in germination rates from the control.’
    • ‘He investigated the question of herb suppression within chamise chaparral.’
    • ‘Soil under chamise shrubs was collected (with leaf litter removed) and heated at various temperatures then watered.’
    • ‘The region's ubiquitous chaparral, those lion-colored hills of chamise, oak and manzanita, is an incitement to fire.’
    • ‘In California's Santa Ynez Mountains, the striped insects tend to be more common on a plant called chamise while the unstriped ones predominate on blue lilac.’
    • ‘Analysis of chamise, sampled from southern California shrublands, indicates that the ratio of dead to live components is not related reliably to age of shrub canopy.’


Mid 19th century: from Mexican Spanish chamiso.