A shrub, three or four feet tall, which grows on dry rocky hillsides,
often associated with sagebrush. The flowers are creamy yellow,
have 5 petals, and are about a half inch across. They bloom in the
Each blossom has many stamens and one pistil, from which a single
hard dry bitter fruit is produced.
Bitterbrush is a favorite food plant for many animals, so it is
often found to be browsed and nibbled down extensively.
The genus name is in honor of Frederick Pursh (1774-1820).
He examined and classified many of the specimens collected by the
Lewis and Clark expedition, and produced the first plant book
covering North America.
by Sandra Bray
Red Butte Canyon
Wasatch Mountain foothills
Salt Lake County, Utah