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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Purshia stansburiana (Torr.) Henrickson
Cliff-rose, Quininebush, Stansbury cliffrose
Synonym(s): Cowania alba, Cowania mexicana var. stansburiana, Cowania stansburiana, Purshia mexicana var. stansburiana
USDA Symbol: pust
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Quininebush or cliff-rose is a freely branched, broad-leaf evergreen shrub growing 4-10 ft., depending on the site. The tubular flowers are creamy-white, five-petaled and extremely fragrant, eventually producing white, feathery fruits. Its bark is reddish and peeling. Leathery, pinnately compound leaves are green above, woolly-white below.
An attractive ornamental, Cliffrose is also planted for erosion control. It is an important browse plant for deer, cattle, and sheep, especially in winter. Native Americans used to make rope, sandals, and clothing from the shreddy bark and arrow shafts from the stems. It is called Quininebush because of the bitter-tasting foliage. This species is abundant on the south rim at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
, UT Native Distribution:
to s.e. CA,
s. to c. Mex. Native Habitat:
Dry slopes & mesas; limestone canyons; 3000-8000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Rocky, infertile soils.
Conditions Comments: Drought-tolerant. Showy, fragrant, and a good soil binder on slopes.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Deer browse.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagation by seed is possible. Protecting sown seed from rodents is often necessary. Semi-softwood cuttings may be taken in spring and late summer.
Seed Collection: The first seeds to set are usually of the highest quality. Collect by hand or with vacuum equipment.
Seed Treatment: Cold-moist stratification hastens germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff