Friday, September 28, 2012

Creosote Bush

The Creosote Bush (Larrea Tridentata) is a relentless desert plant growing in the deserts in both North and South America.  In North America it is found in the hot Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Deserts where it is possibly out numbers all other perennial plants.  The only North American desert where it is not found is the Great Basin, simply because it is too cold.  The Creosote is so relentless it can occupy the poorest soils in flat basin areas between the mountain ranges of these deserts.  Driving through the flat lands of these deserts you can drive mile after mile past near mono-cultures of this plant.  Its roots are so effective at extracting moisture from the soil that it is often very difficult for other plants to become established near Creosote.  Creosote roots can extract water from soil that is seemingly dry, surviving up to two years without rainfall.  They can also extract nearly all water from the soil, thus preventing any from ever reaching the water table. Creosotes are so good at all this that they can in-fact survive for over 11,000 years!

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