Creosote Bush Facts

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The creosote bush is a hardy and tough plant found in the deserts of North America. Valued as a medicinal plant by many Native Americans, one tribe even considered it the plant first created by the Earthmaker.

Geography

  • The creosote bush is a desert plant thriving in the Chihuahua, Mohave and Sonoran deserts of the Southwest as well as in parts of Utah, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Features

  • Creosote bushes are evergreen shrubs with leaves that are waxy and contain resin. They have a strong scent of creosote even though they do not contain that compound. This coating helps the plant keep the water it has and the scent helps to repel most plant eaters. The yellow flowers have five petals that turn to round, white seedpods with a fuzzy coating.

Age

  • Among the longest-lived plants worldwide, some creosote bushes found in the Mojave Desert are as much as 11,500 years old.

Size

  • Normally the creosote bush, which is considered a medium to large shrub is under 4 feet tall. However, with plenty of water, it may reach as much 12 feet tall.

Fun Fact

  • The creosote plant can survive without any rain for two years, making it the North American champion for drought tolerance.

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