With these characteristics: None
Cowania (Purshia) mexicana
Cliffrose or Quininebush
Rosaceae - Rose
Leaves: Alternate; simple; 3- to 5-lobed; 1/4" to 1/2" long; evergreen, leaves persistent for two years; thick; dark green and glandular above, paler and hairy beneath.
Twigs/buds: Twigs slender; stiff; reddish. Buds small and inconspicuous, scaly.
Flowers/fruit: Flowers perfect, creamy-white, rose-like with 5 petals; 1" in diameter; appear in April to May. Fruit is a small achene, with 5 to 8 grouped at each flower, tipped by a 2" long, white, hairy plume (a persistent style from the flower).
Bark: Thin; red-brown to gray; breaking into long, narrow strips.
Wood: Unimportant and little known; heartwood dark red-brown; hard and dense; makes good firewood; diffuse-porous.
General: Native from southwestern Colorado to eastern California and Mexico, including southwest Utah, where it is found on dry sites. This species usually is shrubby, but can reach 25' tall. The leaves are bitter, but are browsed by wildlife. Shade intolerant. Welsh et al. call this species Purshiana mexicana.
Landscape Use: This species is seldom planted, but could be used on dry sites. It is very drought resistant and tough, and the flowers are quite ornamental. The fruit also is interesting. Zones 5-9.
Comments & Limitations: Evergreen broadleaf (retains its leaves for more than one year).
- Rosaceae - Rose
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- Utah Native:
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- Poor Drainage: