Creosote Bush


Scientific Name: Larrea tridentata

Common Name: Creosote Bush
Family: Zygophyllaceae, caltrop family
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 12 feet, usually much less.
Growth Form: Shrub; plants drought-tolerant; brittle branches.
Leaves: Green; deciduous; opposite; thick hard covering (resin); bifoliolate; lanceolate; stipules not shiny; strong medicinal fragrance,
Flower Color: Yellow; inflorescence, flowers solitary from axils; sepals ovoid; fruits reddish-brown, spherical, fuzzy (villous) 1-seeded.
Flowering Season: April to May and sparsely throughout the year.

Comments:Larrea tridentata is an important dominant or co-dominant species in most plant communities in the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts. The leaves give off a distinctive resinous odor after rains, especially in the summertime. Many people find this scent pleasant and evocative of rain in the Sonoran Desert. The bushes provide shade for desert mammals that bed around the plants in the heat of the day.