Larrea tridentata [Zygophyllaceae]

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Scientific Name Larrea tridentata USDA PLANTS Symbol LATR2
Common Name Creosote Bush ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 29051
Family Zygophyllaceae (Caltrop) SEINet
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Description Habitat: Dry, desert environments; very abundant and widespread from southwest Texas and west.
Plant: Evergreen, tough, long-lived shrub; aromatic, much branched up to 10 feet tall, but often 3 to 5 feet; gray-brown branches and densely leafy near branch tips.
Leaves: Opposite, shiny, green, thick leaves split into 2 leaflets joined at the base; leaflets are ovate to oblong or elliptical with pointed tips, less than 1/2-inch long, dark green, shiny, and strongly-scented (especially after rain).
Inflorescence: Showy, solitary yellow flowers up to 1 inch wide on pedicels arising from the leaf axils; each with 5 twisted petals; 10 stamens.
Bloom Period: February to August and after rains.
Fruit: Green seed capsules are round and lobed, 1/4-inch in diameter, covered with white to red woolly hairs.
References: Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and Plants, SEINet and "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston.
BONAP Distribution Map

Texas Status:

© Tom Lebsack 2022