Arizona Cliffrose(Purshia subintegra)Kingdom: PlantaeClass: Angiosperms
Order: RosalesFamily: RosacaeaeSubfamily: DryaadoideaeGenus: Purshia
An Arizona cliffrose with yellow flowers.
The Arizona cliffrose is a member of the rose family. The cliffrose grows as an evergreen shrub, reaching a height of 1.5-1.8 meters (5-8 feet). They are generally wider than they are tall. The park of the plant is a pale gray and is described as shreddy. Younger Arizona cliffrose tend to be covered with soft, white hair. The hair is very dense on young twigs. The bark of the cliffrose is a pale gray.

Image of Arizona cliffrose showing flowers, leaves, and thin stem.

They are glandless, as well as their leaves. The leaves of the cliffrose are smooth, curled, short, and very narrow. The Arizona cliffrose blooms with a yellow or white flower that have five petals. These petals are usually around 1 cm (0.4 inches) long. There are four other plant species that are closely associated with the cliffrose. These species include, heathleaf wild buckwheat, Ripley wild buckwheat, Verde Valley sage, and Rusby milkwort.

Picture of an Arizona cliffrose with white flowers.

Map of the United States showing Arizona, the place the cliffrose is found, in green.

Habitat and Location
The Arizona cliffrose is only found on white Tertiary limestone lakebed deposits. These deposits include high amounts of high in lithium, nitrates, and magnesium. This plant is restricted to nutrient deficient, calcareous soils. Also, the Arizona cliffrose is often found in very rocky soils and can be found at various elevations. The cliffrose can also withstand the high temperatures of the Arizona desert, which can reach over 120º Fahrenheit in the summer.

Picture showing the type of landscape the Arizona cliffrose is found.

Video of the Arizona landscape.

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Map showing the distribution of the Arizona cliffrose in green.

The cliffrose is known only in four populations of a 322 km (200 mi.) wide area in central Arizona. They are found in the upper Sonoran desert on Tertiary lakebed limestone deposits. Particularly, the cliffrose is found in Burro Creek in Mohave County, Bylas, Graham County, Horseshoe Lake, Maricopa County, Yapavai County, and in the Verde Valley near Cottonwood. In these areas, winters are mild, summers are hot, and the rainfall ranges from 22.9-86 centimeters (9-34 inches).

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Range of the Arizona cliffrose in the Verde Valley near Cottonwood, Arizona

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Orange areas on the map show where the Arizona cliffrose is found.

Video from a car driving through Arizona. This video shows the landscape of Arizona.

Arizona Desert Sunset from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

Video of Arizona desert and sunset.

Measures to Prevent Extinction
The Arizona cliffrose was listed as endangered in 1984 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Burro Creek population was completely enclosed with a barbed wire fence. That particular population was put under a monitoring system in 1989. Monitoring transects were set up in the Cottonwood population in 1987. Six other linear transects were set up in 1987. The transects were 100 feet long and were positioned to maximize the plants that occurred on each. The system also included a highly managed livestock grazing plan. Grazing is only allowed on the Horseshoe Lake populations every other year. It was established that the area of critical concern was a one square mile are at Burro Creek. Verde Valley was established in 1987 in order to help conserve the population. Roads in the Verde Valley area were shut down and made into trails in order to limit vehicle passage through the area.

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Transection line used to monitor the Arizona cliffrose populations.
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A road that was blocked in Verde Valley in order to conserve the population.

This video is provided by The video depicts various scenes from Arizona ranging from desolate deserts, to rolling greens. There are many different plants shown in this short clip.

The Arizona cliffrose is vulnerable due to a small, localized habitat and limited populations. Urbanization and mining play a role in the Arizona cliffrose population decrease. Other major threats include road construction, off-road traffic, and wildlife and livestock grazing (primarily cattle).

Video demonstrating major road construction in Arizona.

Estimated Number Remaining
The Arizona cliffrose is scattered between many different concentrated population areas. Population clusters are being discovered infrequently due to various threats ranging from urbanization to wildlife interaction. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are four distinct populations of Arizona cliffrose that are within 200 miles of each other. While it is hard to actually determine the actual number of plants remaining, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is surveying the land of Arizona constantly, trying to make sure that the Arizona cliffrose does not become extinct.

Useful Links

*Note: Videos depicting the actual Arizona cliffrose could not be obtained. However, the videos provided show the Arizona landscape and the areas where the Arizona cliffrose is found.
Citation of Sources

"Arizona Cliffrose." Arizona Game and Fish Department Heritage Data Management System. Arizona Game and Fish Department , n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 1927. <>.

"Arizona Cliffrose." FWS. FWS, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 1927. <>.

"Arizona Cliffrose ." CPC National Collection Plant Profile. Center for Plant Conservation, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. <>.

"Arizona Cliffrose, Purshia subintegra." Naturesongs Nature Recordings and Photos. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. <>.

"Celebrating Wildflowers - TEP Plant Profile - Purshia subintegra, Arizona cliffrose." US Forest Service - Caring for the land and serving people.. US Forest Service , n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. <>.

Crisp, Debra. "Arizona cliffrose (Purshia subintegra) on the Coconino National Forest." U.S. Forest Service. Department of Agriculture, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 1927. <>.