creosote bush


: a resinous desert shrub (Larrea tridentata) of the caltrop family found in the southwestern U.S. and Mexico

Illustration of creosote bush

Illustration of creosote bush

Examples of creosote bush in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After a brief hike through some scrub, Wall finds a creosote bush studded with holes at the roots — evidence of pack rats that will provide the snake with sustenance. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2024 Dashiell, 43, steps in close to enjoy a creosote bush’s telltale aroma of black tar and sand after a storm. Tyrone Beason, Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2024 Some of the area’s perennial creosote bushes died back during a severe drought that hampered the region through 2022. Evan Bush, NBC News, 20 Apr. 2024 Perhaps you’ll be inspired by local scents, like the smell of creosote bushes, which have an earthy brightness after a light rain. Lucky Benson, New York Times, 14 Dec. 2023 That’s 1,000 years older than a 12,000-year-old Palm Springs creosote bush that was previously thought to be the oldest plant in California, 8,000 years older than bristlecone pines, and 10,000 years older than the redwoods, according to a study by UC Davis and UC Riverside scientists. Louis Sahagún, Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2023 The oldest clone with a firm age is an 11,700-year-old creosote bush (researchers were able to date it by measuring the rate at which its circle expands). Michael C Grant, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Overgrazing degraded the rangelands, and mesquite and creosote bushes crowded out native grasses. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2023 Towering saguaro cactuses are collapsing from the heat, and the agaves, creosote bushes and stubby barrel cactuses that spangle highways are turning yellow. Jack Healy, New York Times, 31 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'creosote bush.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1846, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of creosote bush was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near creosote bush

Cite this Entry

“Creosote bush.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

creosote bush

: a desert shrub of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico with small yellow flowers

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