The flower buds are pickled in vinegar and used as a caper substitute
The stems and leaves are a tea substitute.
The twigs are chewed to alleviate thirst.
A resin is obtained from the leaves and twigs, it delays or prevents oils and fats from becoming rancid
There are no material uses listed for Larrea tridentata.
Creosote bush was widely used by various North American Indian tribes. A decoction of the leaves was used to treat diarrhoea and stomach troubles whilst the young twigs were used to treat toothache and a poultice of the leaves was used to treat chest complaints and as a wash for skin problems
. It continued to be widely used as a treatment for rheumatic disease, venereal infections, urinary infections and certain types of cancer, especially leukaemia until its sale was banned in North America due to concern over its potential toxic effect upon the liver
. There have been a number of cases of acute or sub-acute hepatitis attributed to the use of this herb and so its internal use is not recommended until further research has been carried out
A tea made from the leaves is used as an expectorant and pulmonary antiseptic.
Some N. American Indian tribes heated the shoot tips of this plant and dripped the sap (probably the resin[K]) into tooth cavities to treat toothache
Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of new growth in spring in a frame
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Larrea tridentata. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Requires a moderately fertile moisture-retentive soil in full sun or light shade
This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c.
The plant is resinous and aromatic
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Larrea tridentata. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Larrea tridentata.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
? 2.02.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
? 3.03.13.23.3 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
? 4.04.14.2 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
? 5.05.15.25.35.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
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