Creosotebush, Greasewood

Larrea tridentata (DC.) Cov.

Zygophyllaceae (Caltrop family)


An evergreen, aromatic shrub in the Caltrop family, creosotebush generally grows from 3 to 6 feet high and sometimes to 11 feet. It is extremely shallow rooted and drought tolerant.

When mature, the stems are rough and dark gray to black; young twigs are brown and flexible with large, dark nodes that give the plant a jointed appearance.

The leaves of creosotebush are dark green, pointed at the tips and situated in pairs across from each other on the stem. If rainfall is adequate, yellow flowers occur from spring through summer.

The shrub provides poor forage for livestock and wildlife.


Creosotebush is commonly found in shallow soils with underlying hardpan (a layer of hard soil or clay) in the Trans-Pecos Region of Texas.