Chaparral syn. Creosote Bush,  Zygophyllaceae (Creosote Family) Larrea  tridentata  tridentata
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Photo Details
April 16, 2005 - Southwest Desert, Washington County, Utah - ©Nicky Davis

Creosote Bush
Grows to 10 feet tall with 1/8 inch leather textured leaves.  Bark is reddish brown at the base becoming almost white at the top.  In March through May it  bears tiny yellow flowers that develop into a fuzzy seed-bearing capsules.  Some of these plants have been carbon dated at more than 10,000 years old. American Indians of the Southwest used this plant for treatment of  everything from tumors to topical skin treatments including sunscreen.  Recent cases of liver damage have been attributed to internal use of the plant and it is unknown why the plant is harming people now after thousands of years of safe medicinal use.

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