Larrea / Creosote Bush

Genus: Larrea

Common Name: Creosote Bush


The creosote bush is a characteristic feature of North America's hot deserts. It generally out-competes other plants for water, which accounts for its prevalence in many arid locations of the southwest. It is known to flower from February through August, attracting a broad spectrum of native bee visitors.


Native Regions

Throughout the southwestern United States, from Texas to the deserts of southern California and north to southern Utah



Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) is commercially available, primarily through native plant nurseries in appropriate growing regions. It prefers loose, well-drained sand or loam.





Bloom Time

Early spring through late summer


Average Height

5 feet


Flower Color




Full sun to partial shade


Water Requirements



Recommended Species

Larrea tridentata (creosote bush, is the prominent species in the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Deserts of western North America and its range includes southeastern California, Arizona, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, New Mexico and Texas. Creosote bush produces inch-wide, yellow petals, which can bloom from February through August. After it blooms, the flower turns into a small, white, fuzzy fruit capsule. It typically grows 3-5 feet, but individual plants can reach 10 feet. It has a distinctive pungent fragrance, which fills the air following rains.


In addition to attracting myriad species of native bees, the foliage provides shelter for desert wildlife and habitat for grasshoppers, praying mantids and crickets. The fruit provides food for birds. Creosote bush enhances gardens with its showy, aromatic, long-lived blooms.

bee Visitors

Anthidium / Carder Bee

Anthophora / Digger Bee

Bombus / Bumble Bee

Centris / Digger Bee

Ceratina / Small Carpenter Bee

Colletes / Polyester Bee

Eucera / Long-horned Bee

Habropoda / Digger Bee

Halictus / Sweat Bee

Hylaeus / Yellow Faced Bee

Lasioglossum / Sweat Bee

Megachile / Leafcutter Bee

Melissodes / Long-horned Bee

Osmia / Mason Bee

Svastra / Sunflower Bee

Trachusa / Trachusa

Xylocopa / Large Carpenter Bee

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