Bitterbrush used for Bonsai?

Hi. I’m curious if anyone has ever seen Bitterbrush used as and or collected for Bonsai? Purshia tridentata.

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I’ve tried collecting with no success. Super tap-roooted.

But, I bet you could have success from seed. They germinate pretty easily after a little scratch and soak. I have a little shohin mountain mahogany from seed, similar kind of plant.

Good luck!

I know Creosote bushes and Manzanita is the same. They hate to have their roots messed with. I’ve never successfully collected a Creosote.

Thanks for the info. I won’t be trying to do any collecting as I live in NYC. But I was just visiting family in Boulder Co and saw a bunch in the mountains while hiking. They look like they would make great Bonsai if collectible.

When I search for those three words, Google came back with more questions than answers. That’s never a good sign.

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Yeah! I found the same thing. Most likely why we don’t see them. Some things are just not meant to be. Too bad though! They seem like a great candidate if collectible. Like we have heard from listing to the podcast and other places Ryan has spoken about species like this, it’s probably not impossible, we just have to figure out just the right techniques.

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I have one that I collected this spring that is not looking good…although who knows with drought tolerant species like this, it might kick back in gear next year. Rather than a big carrot or surface fine roots, they usually have several cable like taproots just going down.

They are a good species to experiment on. The Cascade foothills in Eastern Washington are absolutely covered in specimens with twisting live veins and rough bark.


Have one collected last fall, pushing lots of folage this spring. Had the same question, if anyone was messing with them.


I have a small one. Two yrs from collection and doing well. They are a lot like sagebrush, in terms of having a deep taproot. I have not repotted it, so I’m not sure if the roots are going to be fibrous like sagebrush.


Very nice!! Wish I had advice on their root habits. Know what I collected and guessing will be spring 2024 before I look.

Similar to my sage but diffrent. They will flower and set fruit. What reasurch I’ve done says they are in the rose family.

You have a sweet one for sure.