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INTRODUCTORY

SPECIES: Purshia glandulosa | Desert Bitterbrush

ABBREVIATION:


PURGLA

SYNONYMS:


Purshia tridentata var. glandulosa (Curran) M.E. Jones [15]

NRCS PLANT CODE:


PUGL2

COMMON NAMES:


desert bitterbrush
Mojave antelope brush

TAXONOMY:


The fully documented scientific name of desert bitterbrush is Purshia glandulosa Curran (Rosaceae) [17,47]. Desert bitterbrush appears to be a hybridization of Stansbury cliffrose (P. mexicana var. stansburiana) and antelope bitterbrush (P. tridentata) [26,28,42,47].

Desert bitterbrush hybridizes with Stansbury cliffrose, antelope bitterbrush [19,22,26,28], and possibly Apache-plume (Fallugia paradoxa) [30].

LIFE FORM:


Shrub

FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS:


No special status

OTHER STATUS:


No entry

AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION:


Zlatnik, Elena. (1999, July). Purshia glandulosa. In: Remainder of Citation


Species Index
FEIS Home

DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Purshia glandulosa | Desert Bitterbrush

GENERAL DISTRIBUTION:


Desert bitterbrush occurs in southern California, Arizona, southern Nevada, and Utah [12,23].

ECOSYSTEMS:


FRES29   Sagebrush
FRES30   Desert shrub
FRES33   Southwestern shrubsteppe
FRES34   Chaparral-mountain shrub
FRES35   Pinyon-juniper

STATES:


AZ    CA    NV    UT

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS:


  3   Southern Pacific Border
  4   Sierra Mountains
  6   Upper Basin and Range
  7   Lower Basin and Range
12   Colorado Plateau

KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:


K023   Juniper-pinyon woodland
K024   Juniper steppe woodlands
K037   Mountain-mahogany-oak scrub
K038   Great Basin sagebrush
K039   Blackbrush
K040   Saltbush-greasewood
K041   Creosotebush
K042   Creosotebush-bursage

SAF COVER TYPES:


209   Bristlecone pine
238   Western juniper
239   Pinyon-juniper
243   Sierra Nevada mixed conifer

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES:


210   Bitterbrush
211  Creosotebush scrub
212  Blackbush
401  Basin big sagebrush
402  Mountain big sagebrush
412  Juniper-pinyon woodland
413  Gambel oak
415  Curlleaf mountain-mahogany
416  True mountain-mahogany
417  Littleleaf mountain-mahogany
421  Chokecherry-serviceberry-rose
504  Juniper-pinyon pine woodland
509  Transition between oak-juniper woodland and mahogany-oak association

HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES:


Desert bitterbrush is found in several semi-arid shrub types throughout its range, including blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), chaparral, and singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla)-California juniper (Juniperus californica) woodlands [8,15,47].

In California, desert bitterbrush is commonly found with basin big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata), blackbrush, singleleaf pinyon, and California juniper. It also occurs with Joshua tree, creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), Stansbury cliffrose, and Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva). Shrubs often form more than 90% of the cover in desert bitterbrush stands. Perennial grasses are a minor element, and forbs are even less important [28].

In Nevada, desert bitterbrush is a component of the mountain brush community with snowberry (Symphoricarpos spp.), antelope bitterbrush, Stansbury cliffrose, mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus spp.), Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii), juneberry (Amelanchier pallida), wild crab apple (Peraphyllum ramosissima), and chokecherry (P. virginiana).

In the San Gabriel Mountains of California, desert bitterbrush occurs in the sagebrush scrub community with basin big sagebrush, Joshua tree, single-leaf pinyon, rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus), spiny horsebrush (Tetradymia spinosa), Nevada broomsage (Lepidospartum latisquamum), beavertail pricklypear (Opuntia basilaris), shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia), and fourwing saltbush (A. canescens) [14].


VALUE AND USE

SPECIES: Purshia glandulosa | Desert Bitterbrush

IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE:


Desert bitterbrush is an important forage species for livestock, deer, and pronghorn [8,16,35,48], especially in winter [30].

PALATABILITY:


In Utah, desert bitterbrush is generally of medium palatability to livestock and wildlife [22].

In California, palatability of desert bitterbrush is ranked excellent to good for domestic sheep, domestic goats, and deer, fair for cattle, and fair to useless for horses [35].

Desert bitterbrush is less palatable to deer than its close relative, antelope bitterbrush [12,30].

NUTRITIONAL VALUE:


Crude protein content of desert bitterbrush is 9.0% [46]. Because desert bitterbrush is an evergreen shrub, its winter protein levels are generally higher than those of antelope bitterbrush and other deciduous forage [25].

COVER VALUE:


Upright growth forms of desert bitterbrush provide cover for game animals [24].

VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES:


Due to its ability to layer from dormant buds along the stem, desert bitterbrush is an excellent soil stabilizer [16,22,28,30]. Desert bitterbrush is useful for stabilizing soils where annual precipitation averages 11 inches (279 mm) or more [29]. With appropriate seed treatment, desert bitterbrush establishes well on disturbed sites either by seed or from transplants [29]. However, seeding can be difficult due to the dormancy of desert bitterbrush seed [48]. Desert bitterbrush can be propagated from stem cuttings. Cuttings should be collected in early spring or in August and September and treated with 0.8 to 2.0 IBA powder [16].

OTHER USES AND VALUES:


No entry

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:


Desert bitterbrush is browsing tolerant [30].


FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Purshia glandulosa | Desert Bitterbrush

FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS:


Desert bitterbrush recovers from fire by sprouting from undamaged root crowns below the soil surface and by establishing from seeds cached by rodents [6,7,8,28,45].

Fire regimes of the California singleleaf pinyon-California juniper woodlands in which desert bitterbrush appears are dominated by long-interval canopy fires and slow recovery [44]. Fires in desert bitterbrush habitats probably were infrequent, since fuel in sagebrush-bitterbrush and juniper-bitterbrush communities tends to be light. In decadent stands, extremely dry and windy conditions can cause a severe fire [32].

To learn more about the fire regimes in communities in which desert bitterbrush appears, refer to the FEIS summary for associated species, such as big basin sagebrush, redberry juniper (Juniperus erythrocarpa), Gambel oak, Joshua tree, singleleaf pinyon, and California juniper, under "FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS."

POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY:


Tall shrub, adventitious-bud root crown
Small shrub, adventitious bud/root crown
Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)


FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Purshia glandulosa | Desert Bitterbrush

IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT:


Desert bitterbrush is considered fire tolerant [1,22,29]. Plants sprout in response to being top-killed, but can be killed if heat is sufficient to kill the root crowns [10,18,45].

DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT:


No entry

PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE:


Desert bitterbrush often sprouts vigorously following fire [6,8,28], even in dry conditions [7]. Even root crowns charred below the surface have sprouted [28]. In some studies, however, desert bitterbrush has been killed by fire [10,18,45]. The fire literature does not specify whether the decumbent or erect form of desert bitterbrush is more susceptible to fire.

Stem layering is another response to fire if heat has not killed all aboveground tissue. Layering following fire is particularly evident on burned-over areas with finer-textured rather than coarse-textured soils [28].

Following spring prescribed burns near Ely, Nevada, mean rodent desert bitterbrush seed cache densities were significantly (p=0.05) higher within the burned areas than outside. Only 2 desert bitterbrush sprouted following these prescribed burns, and they lacked vigor and died the spring following the fires. The presence of large numbers of rodent caches may result in the continued presence of desert bitterbrush on the site [45].

DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE:


No entry

FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:


Fall mortality of desert bitterbrush following fire is higher than after spring burns [6,7,18].


Purshia glandulosa: References


1. Aro, Richard S. 1971. Evaluation of pinyon-juniper conversion to grassland. Journal of Range Management. 24(2): 188-197. [355]

2. Bates, Patricia A. 1983. Prescribed burning blackbrush for deer habitat improvement. Cal-Neva Wildlife Transactions. [Volume unknown]: 174-182. [4458]

3. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]

4. Blauer, A. Clyde; Plummer, A. Perry; McArthur, E. Durant; [and others]. 1975. Characteristics and hybridization of important Intermountain shrubs. I. Rose family. Res. Pap. INT-169. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 36 p. [472]

5. Bowns, James E.; West, Neil E. 1976. Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima Torr.) on southwestern Utah rangelands. Research Report 27. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station. 27 p. [3831]

6. Boyer, Donald E.; Dell, John D. 1980. Fire effects on Pacific Northwest forest soils. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Watershed Management and Aviation and Fire Management. 59 p. [5282]

7. Britton, Carlton M. 1979. Fire on the range. Western Wildlands. 5(4): 32-33. [514]

8. Conrad, C. Eugene. 1987. Common shrubs of chaparral and associated ecosystems of southern California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-99. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 86 p. [4209]

9. Deitschman, Glenn H.; Jorgensen, Kent R.; Plummer, A. Perry. 1974. Purshia DC. bitterbrush. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 686-688. [7735]

10. Everett, Richard L. 1987. Plant response to fire in the pinyon-juniper zone. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 152-157. [4755]

11. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]

12. Ferguson, Robert B. 1983. Use of rosaceous shrubs for wildland plantings in the Intermountain West. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Shaw, Nancy, compilers. Managing Intermountain rangelands--improvement of range and wildlife habitats; Proceedings of symposia; 1981 September 15-17; Twin Falls, ID; 1982 June 22-24; Elko, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-157. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 136-149. [915]

13. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]

14. Hanes, Ted L. 1976. Vegetation types of the San Gabriel Mountians. In: Latting, June, ed. Symposium proceedings: plant communities of southern California; 1974 May 4; Fullerton, CA. Special Publication No. 2. Berkeley, CA: California Native Plant Society: 65-76. [4227]

15. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]

16. Institute for Land Rehabilitation. 1979. Selection, propagation, and field establishment of native plant species on disturbed arid lands. Bulletin 500. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Agricultural Experiment Station. 49 p. [1237]

17. Kartesz, John T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Volume I--checklist. 2nd ed. Portland, OR: Timber Press. 622 p. [23877]

18. Klebenow, Donald A.; Beall, Robert C. 1977. Fire impacts on birds and mammals on Great Basin rangelands. In: [Source unknown]. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Division of Renewable Natural Resources: 59-62. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Lab, Missoula, MT. [1348]

19. Koehler, Donald L.; Smith, Dale M. 1981. Hybridization between Cowania mexicana var. Stansburiana and Purshia glandulosa (Rosaceae). Madrono. 28(1): 13-25. [116]

20. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. United States [Potential natural vegetation of the conterminous United States]. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 1:3,168,000; colored. [3455]

21. Manning, Sara J.; Groeneveld, David P. 1990. Shrub rooting characteristics and water acquisition on xeric sites in the western Great Basin. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Romney, Evan M.; Smith, Stanley D.; Tueller, Paul T., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on cheatgrass invasion, shrub die-off, and other aspects of shrub biology and management; 1989 April 5-7; Las Vegas, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-276. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 238-244. [12856]

22. McArthur, E. Durant; Giunta, Bruce C.; Plummer, A. Perry. 1977. Shrubs for restoration of depleted range and disturbed areas. Utah Science. 35: 28-33. [25035]

23. McArthur, E. Durant; Stutz, Howard C.; Sanderson, Stewart C. 1983. Taxonomy, distribution, and cytogenetics of Purshia, Cowania, and Fallugia (Rosoideae, Rosaceae). In: Tiedemann, Arthur R.; Johnson, Kendall L., compilers. Proceedings--research and management of bitterbrush and cliffrose in western North America; 1982 April 13-15; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-152. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 2-24. [1578]

24. Monsen, Stephen B. 1987. Shrub selections for pinyon-juniper plantings. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 316-329. [4925]

25. Monsen, Stephen B.; Davis, James N. 1985. Progress in the improvement of selected western North American rosaceous shrubs. In: Carlson, Jack R.; McArthur, E. Durant, chairmen. Range plant improvement in western North America: Proceedings of a symposium at the annual meeting of the Society for Range Management; 1985 February 14; Salt Lake City, UT. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management: 93-101. [1681]

26. Mozingo, Hugh N. 1987. Shrubs of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 342 p. [1702]

27. Nelson, David L. 1983. Occurrence and nature of actinorhizae on Cowania stansburiana and other Rosaceae. In: Tiedemann, Arthur R.; Johnson, Kendall L., compilers. Proceedings--research and management of bitterbrush and cliffrose in western North America; 1982 April 13-15; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-152. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 225-239. [1738]

28. Nord, Eamor C. 1965. Autecology of bitterbrush in California. Ecological Monographs. 35(3): 307-334. [1771]

29. Plummer, A. Perry. 1977. Revegetation of disturbed Intermountain area sites. In: Thames, J. C., ed. Reclamation and use of disturbed lands of the Southwest. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press: 302-337. [171]

30. Plummer, A. Perry; Christensen, Donald R.; Monsen, Stephen B. 1968. Restoring big-game range in Utah. Publ. No. 68-3. Ephraim, UT: Utah Division of Fish and Game. 183 p. [4554]

31. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

32. Rice, Carol L. 1983. A literature review of the fire relationships of antelope bitterbrush. In: Tiedemann, Arthur R.; Johnson, Kendall L., compilers. Proceedings--research and management of bitterbrush and cliffrose in western North America; 1982 April 13-15; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-152. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 256-265. [1965]

33. Righetti, Timothy L.; Chard, Carolyn H.; Backhaus, Ralph A. 1986. Soil and environmental factors related to nodulation in Cowania and Purshia. Plant and Soil. 91: 147-160; 1986. [1990]

34. Righetti, Timothy L.; Munns, Donald N. 1982. Nodulation and nitrogen fixation in Purshia: inoculation responses and species comparisons. Plant and Soil. 65: 383-396. [24207]

35. Sampson, Arthur W.; Jespersen, Beryl S. 1963. California range brushlands and browse plants. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Division of Agricultural Sciences, California Agricultural Experiment Station, Extension Service. 162 p. [3240]

36. Shaw, Nancy L.; Monsen, Stephen B. 1983. Phenology and growth habits of nine antelope bitterbrush, desert bitterbrush, Stansbury cliffrose, and Apache-plume accessions. In: Tiedemann, Arthur R.; Johnson, Kendall L., compilers. Proceedings--research and management of bitterbrush and cliffrose in western North America; 1982 April 13-15; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-152. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 55-69. [2122]

37. Shiflet, Thomas N., ed. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management. 152 p. [23362]

38. St. Andre, G.; Mooney, H. A.; Wright, R. D. 1965. The pinyon woodland zone in the White Mountains of California. The American Midland Naturalist. 73(1): 225-239. [2217]

39. Stevens, Richard; Jorgensen, Kent R. 1994. Rangeland species germination through 25 and up to 40 years of warehouse storage. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Kitchen, Stanley G, compilers. Proceedings--ecology and management of annual rangelands; 1992 May 18-22; Boise, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-313. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 257-265. [24292]

40. Stevens, Richard; Jorgensen, Kent R.; Davis, James N. 1981. Viability of seed from thirty-two shrub and forb species through fifteen years of warehouse storage. The Great Basin Naturalist. 41(3): 274-277. [2244]

41. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 10 p. [20090]

42. Stutz, Howard C.; Thomas, L. Kay. 1964. Hybridization and introgression in Cowania and Purshia. Evolution. 18: 183-195. [88]

43. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1994. Plants of the U.S.--alphabetical listing. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 954 p. [23104]

44. Wangler, Michael J.; Minnich, Richard A. 1996. Fire and succession in pinyon-juniper woodlands of the San Bernadino Mountains, California. Madrono. 43(4): 493-514. [27891]

45. Ward, Kenneth V. 1977. Two-year vegetation response and successional trends for spring burns in the pinyon-juniper woodland. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 62 p. Thesis. [276]

46. Welch, Bruce L.; Monsen, Stephen B. 1981. Winter crude protein among accessions of fourwing saltbush grown in a uniform garden. The Great Basin Naturalist. 41(3): 343-346; 1981. [2487]

47. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]

48. Young, James A.; Evans, Raymond A. 1981. Germination of seeds of antelope bitterbrush, desert bitterbrush, and cliff rose. ARR-W-17. Oakland, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Science and Education Administration, Agricultural Research (Western Region). 39 p. [2660]

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