Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cliff Rose and Antelope Bush


Cowania mexicana ( Cliff Rose )
Also called Purshia mexicana. A picturesque shrub or small tree native to parts of the western United Sites ( from central Idaho to western Colorado; south to southern California and Arizona ). Some records include: 6 years - 5 feet; largest on record - 19 x 17 feet with a trunk diameter of 9.6 inches. Cliff Rose is great for informal hedging in dry climates.
The 3 to 9 lobed, wedge-shaped leaves are up to 1 inch long. The foliage is gray-green to mid-green above, paler beneath. The leaves can be used to make tea.
The fragrant, creamy-white flowers are borne in masses during late spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 9, preferring dry, well drained soils. Germination is from seed which should be soaked in hydrogen peroxide for 6 hours then stratified for 2 months before sowing during spring.

* photo taken by Charles Cunningham @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

A rare vigorous growing form with white flowers.

Purshia tridentata ( Antelope Bush )
A slow growing, very long-lived, upright, rounded, medium-sized, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 22 x 20 feet ( rarely over 10 x 12 ) with a trunk diameter of 1 foot. It is native to western North America ( from Vernon and Kelowna, British Columbia to far southwest Alberta to northeast Wyoming to far western Nebraska; south to southern California to northwest New Mexico ). It makes a great landscape plant or screen for harsh climates. Its deep taproot, up to 18 feet deep, enables it to survive extreme drought.
The 3-lobed, oval leaves, up to 0.8 inches long, are gray to green.
The fuzzy, yellowish flowers, up to 0.3 inches wide, are borne late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 ( 3 for central Montana seed source ) in full sun to partial shade on moist, humus-rich, well drained soil. Antelope Bush requires between 8 & 36 inches of average yearly precipitation to survive. It tolerates extreme drought and heat but does not grow well in climates with warm summer nights.


* photo taken by Sheri Hagwood @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos

'Lessen' ( Bitterbush )

* Photos courtesy of USDA NRCS.

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