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Going south along the Colorado River region, dry valleys contain only creosote and bursage, and in some places, even bursage disappears. It may drop leaves and branches to preserve water and nutrients in the root crown.

There is a legend that creosotes inhibit growth of any other plants around them. The roots will excrete a substance which inhibits growth of bursage, its main competitor, and it will also inhibit germination of its own seeds so competing new creosote bushes will not grow nearby.

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There is enough moisture in your breath to volatilize the wax.

The creosote is the most drought-tolerant perennial plant in North America.

Its hardiness can be seen as one travels from the relatively wet Tucson area to dry Yuma which averages about 2 inches of rain per year.

Along that traverse, perennial plant species decrease from about 300 here to about 12 near Yuma.

Lac insects (Tachardiella larreae, a scale insect) can occasionally be found on its stems.

Desert peoples used its sticky secretions as a multipurpose sealant and glue. They are produced by the creosote gall midge (Asphondylia); larvae of these small flies live in the protective mass of tissue.

Rain, however, volatilizes that waxy coating which then produces a distinct, camphor-like odor, which some desert dwellers call the smell of rain.

You can often experience the odor by cupping some leaves in your hands and blowing on them.

If the prevailing wind is especially strong, only the clones downwind of the parent plant will survive, forming a line of plants instead of an expanding ring.

If you’ve ever tried to kill a creosote bush by cutting back the branches, you know that it will grow back within a few months. Only the Jackrabbit is known to eat the leaves, and then, only when there is nothing else available.

However, “More than 60 species of insects are associated with this plant, including 22 species of bees that feed only on its flowers.

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