Page author: David Giblin
Purshia tridentata
antelope-brush, bitterbrush
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Widely distributed east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia south to California, east to Montana, Colorado and New Mexico.

Habitat: Sagebrush desert and shrub-steppe to ponderosa pine forests.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Deciduous, rigidly- and freely-branched shrubs, 1-2 m. tall.


Leaves wedge-shaped, 10-20 mm. long, deeply 3-lobed at the tip, greenish on the upper surface and grayish-woolly beneath.


Flowers terminal and solitary on short, lateral, leafy spurs; calyx with stalked glands and woolly hairs, tube funnel-shaped, 6-8 mm. long, the 5 lobes slightly shorter, entire, ovate-oblong; petals 5, yellow, obovate-oblong to spatulate, 6-9 mm. long; stamens 25, exerted; pistil 1.


Achene 1.5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Purshia tridentata (Pursh) DC.
Publication: Trans. Linn. Soc. London 12(1): 158 [1818]. 1817.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Kunzia tridentate Spreng.
Tigarea tridentate Pursh
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Purshia tridentata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Purshia tridentata checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Purshia tridentata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Purshia tridentata photos.

USDA Plants: Purshia tridentata information.

62 photographs:
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