Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Larrea tridentata (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)
Larrea tridentata (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)

Click to Enlarge

Zone
Zones 7-14, 18-21
Full Sun
Full
Minimal Water
Minimal

Larrea tridentata

Creosote Bush

Evergreen, Shrubs

One of the most common native shrubs in Southwest deserts, creosote bush grows to 4–8 ft. tall and wide, with many upright branches. Straggly and open in shallow, dry soil; attractive, dense, rounded but spreading where water accumulates. Leathery yellow-green to dark green leaves are divided into two tiny, 3/8-in.-long crescents; gummy secretion makes them look varnished and yields a distinctive creosote odor, especially after rain. Small yellow flowers appear off and on all year, followed by small roundish fruit covered with shiny white or rusty hairs. With water and fertilizer, grows taller and denser with larger, shiny dark green leaves. Use as a wind or privacy screen, or trim into a formal hedge.

You Might Also Like...

Larrea tridentata

One of the most common native shrubs in Southwest deserts, creosote bush grows to 4–8 ft. tall a...

Grape, European ‘Thompson Seedless’

Produces big clusters of small, sweet, seedless, greenish-amber fruit at midseason. For fresh eating a...

Cupressus forbesii

Native to the coastal mountains of Southern California. Low-branching tree to 10–25 ft. tall and...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement