Creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) - 1 gallon
Creosote bush is an evergreen perennial with a shrub growth habit, branched and knotty, growing up to 12 feet tall. The bark is a light grey color, patterned with darker shaded, swollen nodes. The small, lanceolate...
Creosote bush is an evergreen perennial with a shrub growth habit, branched and knotty, growing up to 12 feet tall. The bark is a light grey color, patterned with darker shaded, swollen nodes. The small, lanceolate leaves have an opposite phyllotaxy, young leaves are resinous and coated with natural oils that conserve water. During dry periods, creosote leaves fold in half to reduce exposure to the sun and turn a yellow-green color. After rainfall leaves are observed to turn a darker shade of green and release an aroma that is described by desert-dwellers as the “smell of rain”. The plant blooms bright yellow flowers in the spring, and is also able to flower in summer and fall depending on available moisture. Its solitary and axillary inflorescence sprout flowers that are yellow with five petals, twisting 90 degrees after pollination and growing into white, fuzzy, ball-shaped fruit. L. tridentata take 13 years to reach reproductive maturity and is known to produce satellite clones which sprout outwardly in a ring-like fashion from the root crown
Flowers: yellow; followed by a globe-shaped, fuzzy, white, dry capsule
Blooms: periodically; peaks March - April and November - December
Elevation: below 4500’
Habitat: dry plains and mesas
Notes: Evergreen. Certain creosote plants are thought to be the oldest living plants, over 11,000 years old. When pollinated, petals twist 90 degrees. Varnish like coating on leaves conserves water by slowing evaporation. Resin from branches was used by Native Americans as a glue; other parts were used medicinally.