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Larrea tridentata, photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia
Larrea tridentata, photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia

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

Larrea tridentata

Creosote Bush

Evergreen, Shrubs

One of the most common native shrubs in Southwest deserts, creosote bush grows 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 divided into two tiny, 3?8-in.-long crescents; gummy secretion makes them look varnished and yields distinctivecreosote odor, especially after rain. Small yellow flowers appear off and on all year, followed by small roundishfruit covered with shiny whiteor rusty hairs. With water andfertilizer, grows taller anddenser with larger, shiny darkgreen leaves. Use as windor privacy screen, or trim intoformal hedge.

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