[The Rose Family East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush

Purshia tridentata

Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate

Flowers of Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata (Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate)

Close-up of the flowers of antelope bitterbrush as seen along the Old Headquarters Road in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area of south-central Washington.........May 24, 2009.

Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata (Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate)The photo at right is of a bitterbrush at Fort Rock State Park, Lake County, OR......May, 1996.
Characteristics:

Bitterbrush is an erect, stiff, and abundantly branched shrub up to 2.5 meters tall. It is freely branched, although under constant grazing, it may be more compact and globose in shape. The young stems are reddish-brown in color, becoming reddish-gray brown with age. The leaves are alternate on short spur shoots off the main stem and deciduous. They are wedge-shaped with 3 rounded teeth at the tip. The leaves range from 10-20 mm in length and are short-haired, with green upper surfaces and gray woolly below. The leaf margins may be rolled under.

The flowers appear singly and are pale yellow in color. The 5 lobes of the calyx are each 6-8 mm long and ovate-oblong in shape. The petals are obovate-oblong in shape or spatulate and 6-9 mm long.


Importance:

Bitterbrush is an important browse species for hoofed mammals such as mule deer and pronghorn. It was used by native Americans for firewood. Although the seeds are bitter, they are cached or eaten by rodents in large quantities.


Habitat:

Bitterbrush is found in sandy, gravelly, or rocky soils in arid habitats both in the open and in juniper or ponderosa pine forests.


Range:

Bitterbrush may be found from British Columbia south along the eastern slopes of the Cascades through Washington and Oregon and mostly along the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada to Inyo County California. Eastward, it is found to western Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.


Flower of Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata (Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate) - Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata (Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate)

Close-ups of antelope bitterbrush as seen along the Old Headquarters Road in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area of south-central Washington........May 24, 2009.

Flower of Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata (Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate) - Flowers of Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata (Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate) - Flowers and leaves of Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata (Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate)

Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata (Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate)

Additional photos of antelope bitterbrush as seen along forest road #16 in Logan Valley, Malheur National Forest........July 1, 2010.

Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata (Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate)

Antelope bitterbrush as seen near a small borrow pit along Road 35 about one-half mile uphill from the southern forest boundary on Table Mountain, Wenatchee National Forest...........June 4, 2013.

Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata (Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate)

Antelope bitterbrush as seen in full bloom at the Silver Creek Marsh Campground, Fremont National Forest.........May 20, 2016.

Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope Brush, Antelope-brush, Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata (Synonyms: Kunzia tridentate, Purshia tridentata var. tridentata, Tigarea tridentate)

Bitterbrush at Fort Rock State Park, Lake County, OR......May, 1996.

Paul Slichter