Creosote bush: Larrea tridentata
Best seen up close to appreciate them, these small yellow flowers festoon the signature plant of the Chihuahuan Desert, Larrea tridentata. Carter (1997) notes that "Chaparral is the most common name for Larrea tridentata when referred to as a medicinal plant." It's also commonly known as creosote bush. Native Americans in the southwest used it for a "tea, tincture or salve to slow the rate of bacterial growth" (Carter, 1997). A more extensive description of the medicinal uses (and some strong cautionary words, are found in Tilford (1997). Note the small, leathery leaves. Photographed at Oliver Lee State Park, 2 April 2006.
More information and pictures:
Seeds of Larrea tridentata, photographed on the San Lornezo hike near Socorro, NM. Although small, they're really quite beautiful when seen up close.
Where we have seen this plant:
|Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and Shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books, Distributor.|
|Flowering Plants of New Mexico by Robert Dewitt Ivey, Self-published, (1996)|
|Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West by Gregory L. Tilford, Mountain Press Publishing Company (June 1997)|
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