Bitterbrush, Antelope

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Purshia tridentata

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Incredibly tough and beautiful high-desert shrub--very drought-tolerant!

When the bitterbrush dons its profuse yellow and white flowers in late spring, the foothills are filled with their heavenly wafting perfume and the bees drink their fill. Plants provide cover and seeds provide food for small mammals and birds. Highly valuable forage plant for big game. This attractive deciduous shrub grows 3-6 ft tall and wide and is incredibly drought-tolerant once established.

Also called quinine brush or buckbrush, bitterbrush is highly medicinal. Called hunabi in the Northern Paiute language. The Utah Museum of Natural History has a lot of information about the medicinal uses of bitterbrush in Northern Paiute, Shoshone, and Klamath cultures. We acknowledge the impact colonization has had on the ancestral foodways and medicines of this area, and are seeking guidance about how we can best be of use in supporting Indigenous-led efforts to restore these ancestral foodways. 

Seeds were sustainably wildcrafted in the Great Basin by Kyle and friends at Native-Seed Company.

125 Seeds.

Directions: For best results, scatter seeds in fall or winter. Seeds require 3 - 6 weeks of cold stratification prior to germinating. Moisture required the first few years, until the plant is well-established.
If starting indoors, plant in a deep (12”+) pot with well-draining soil and transplant out after last frost.

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For more information about planting and establishing Antelope Bitterbrush, please refer to the USDA Plant Guide.

"antelope bitterbrush, Purshia tridentata" by Jim Morefield is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0