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Bitterbrush in CaliforniaAuthor(s): August L. Hormay
Source: Res. Note 34. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, California Forest and Range Experiment Station. 13 p
Publication Series: Research Note (RN)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionBitterbrush (Purshia tridentata D. C.) is one of the most important range plants in the West. It is grazed by cattle, sheep, and goats, as well as by deer, antelope, and other game animals, and the seeds are an important item in the diet of rodents and birds. The range of bitterbrush (fig. 1) covers about 340,000,000 acres in the 11 western range States and southern British Columbia. In California bitterbrush is distributed on approximately 7,500,000 acres east of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains at altitudes ranging from 3, 500 to 11,000 feet. It commonly grows on sites occupied by big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentate), ponderosa and Jeffrey pine (Pinus ponderosa and P. jeffreyi), Sierra juniper (Juniper occidentalis), and singleleaf pinon (Pinus monophylla). Bitterbrush grows best on soils that are well-drained, moderately deep, and fine- or coarse- textured. In many places it forms most of the ground cover. It is rather intolerant of shade, and the densest stands are found in forest openings and clearings and on slopes below the pine forest.
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CitationHormay, August L. 1943. Bitterbrush in California. Res. Res. Note 34. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, California Forest and Range Experiment Station. 13 p
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