Smells Like Rain; It’s the Creosote

Photo by Tucson photographer Martha Lochert

There is a welcome, distinctive smell in the desert when it rains, which comes from the creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), shown here.

We desert dwellers will say “it smells like rain”  but what we are actually smelling is the creosote, shown here. Did you know they could live thousands of years? According to Steve Archer, PhD and the School of Natural Resources at the University of Arizona,

new clones pop up in a ring around the edge as the main stem breaks off or dies, allowing the plant to survive for thousands of years. That’s amazing longevity for a plant that lives in an environment that a lot of visitors who are used to lush forests view as “dry and dead.”

Image copyrighted and registered with US Library of Congress. Any use requires licensing from Martha Lochert.

One thought on “Smells Like Rain; It’s the Creosote

  1. Martha … This is just beautiful ! And educational ! I love the fragrance of creosote in the rain! Thank you for sending! Good to catch up with you today and everyone had a great time! See you soon! Leslie


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