Larrea tridentata (DC.) Coville
Creosote Bush, Chaparral
Creosote bush is an abundant native of arid parts of North America. These long-lived plants gradually spread out, with central portions dying and outlying portions eventually separating, forming clonal colonies. Taken together, these colonies are extremely long-lived. At 11,700 years old, the “King Clone” creosote colony is the oldest living organism on Earth.
Identification: Plants form irregular bushes up to 10' (3 m) high, but usually closer to half that; the size is proportional to the amount of available water. Yellow flowers are ¾-1" (1.9-2.5 cm) around, with five twisted petals. Seed pods are oval, surrounded by a silvery white fuzz, about ¼" (6.3 mm). Leaves are yellow-green or dark green and shiny, each consisting of two teardrop-shaped leaflets ½" (1.3 cm) long and ¼" (6.3 mm) wide. The two-leaflet leaves grow in opposite pairs, so it looks as if there are four tiny leaves at each node along the branch. Plants give off a characteristic odor when wet or broken.
Larrea tridentata at the Mindbird Maps and Books unofficial Mojave National Preserve site
Larrea tridentata at Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert
Larrea tridentata on Wikipedia
Larrea tridentata as Compiled by the Master Gardeners of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension
Larrea tridentata on Wikimedia Commons
Larrea tridentata at the United States National Parks Service
Larrea tridentata at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Larrea tridentata on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database
Larrea tridentata on Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness
Larrea tridentata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.