Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
adapated from the May 29, 2005 Newsletter issued from the Sierra Nevada foothills
somewhat east of Placerville, California, USA
Mountain Misery, also called Kit-kit-dizze (Chamaebatia foliolosa), gets the "misery" part of its name from growing in such dense, knee-high thickets that when you try to walk through them it's a miserable experience. Also the leaves are so resinous and gummy that they wad up on your feet. However, on warm, sunny days the resin creates a nice fragrance. From the flower and immature "hip" developing in the picture at the right you might guess that the species is a member of the Rose Family. Since the plant grows so low you might be tempted to call it a wildflower, not a shrub. Here it is considered a shrub because of its tough, woody stem. Often the plants forms extensive carpets so dense that few other plants can survive. Their resin causes them to burn readily, but they resprout from underground roots quickly.