DESCRIPTION: Shrub to 8’ or small tree to 20’. Rose family. Reddish brown shreddy bark. Creamy white to pale yellow 5-petaled flowers. Each flower followed by fruits with a feathery plume. Dark green, glandular-dotted, wedge-shaped, leaves. Grows at 3,500-8,000’ in upper desert, grasslands, and oak-pinyon-juniper areas. Evergreen.

Uses: Native Americans used tea from cliffrose as a cough suppressant and it induces softening of mucus and sweating. The tea can also be used to cure backaches. The stringy bark can be used for mats and clothing. The straight wood is good for arrows. The Navajo use the bark as padding for cradle boards as well as stuffing for pillows and baseballs. The Navajo also use the wood for female prayer sticks and make a dye from cliffrose and juniper. The Hopi use the wood for arrows and make a wound cleansing agent form leaves and twigs. The Basketmakers made clothing, mats, sandals, baskets and other implements form the bark. The evergreen shrub is also a great winter browse for deer, sheep, and cattle.

Elmore, Francis H
1976 Shrubs and Trees of the Southwest Uplands. Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, Arizona

Epple, Anne Orth
1995 Plants of Arizona. Falcon, Montana.

Moore, Michael
1989 Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West. Museum of New Mexico Press, New Mexico.

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Purshia stansburiana
This page was authored by Roger Dorr