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Purshia tridentata (Pursh) DC.
Antelope bitterbrush, Bitterbrush, Antelope brush
Synonym(s): Purshia tridentata var. tridentata
USDA Symbol: putr2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Bitterbrush or antelope brush is a gray, small-leaved shrub that usually grows 4-5 ft. but can reach 10 ft. The intricately branched prostate stems often root where they touch the ground. Cream-colored, tubular, short-lived flowers are solitary at the ends of short branches. The semi-evergreen leaves are deeply three-cleft and roll inward in scorching weather, exposing the grayish, densely hairy underside.
Bitterbrush is a member of the rose family (family Rosaceae) which includes about 2000 species of trees, shrubs, and herbs worldwide; approximately 77 native and 9 naturalized tree species and many species of shrubs and herbs in North America; including service-berries (Amelanchier), hawthorns (Crataegus), apples (Malus), plums and cherries (Prunus), and mountain-ashes (Sorbus).
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
, WY Canada: BC Native Distribution: MT
to B.C., s. to NM,
& CA Native Habitat:
Dry, sagebrush & pinon-juniper slopes; 3000-11,000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
High Soil Description:
Dry soils. Conditions Comments:
is good for erosion control, informal plantings, and revegetation on disturbed sites. Does not sprout after fire.
PropagationDescription: Grows best from seeds but layering is also successful. Stratified seed should be sown while wet.
Seed Collection: Seeds are ripe in mid-summer. Timing of seed collection is important to avoid seed loss. Flail branches over a container or use a vacuum collector. The papery husks must be removed before sowing. (Rodents remove the husks in nature.)
Seed Treatment: Seeds need winter stratification. Stored seed can be stratified at 39 degrees for a little as two weeks.
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Replacing grass with xeric plants in Nevada
March 20, 2009
I am looking to xeriscape my front yard - remove all grass! I am thinking 3-4 larger plants: bird of paradise (mesquite??), aloe, and ..?? Also, possibly a Chilean mesquite.
Do you have suggestio...
view the full question and answer
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2009-02-01
Research By: TWC Staff