The oldest plant in the Sonoran Desert–maybe the world



Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata.)

 You would have to be a much better photographer than I am, to make this inconspicuous plant look interesting. But it is interesting. Very interesting. It is probably the most interesting plant in the Sonoran Desert. They are very common. Ubiquitous I would say.

It isa shrub or  bush. But, it is a perennial bush that has some amazing properties. It can live for up to 2 years without rain. Today it did not have its tiny yellow flowers. They have already turned into tiny fruit.  These plants are believed to be among the oldest living plants. Some are as old as 11,000 years old! That is older than the Old Testament was written. That is older than the pyramids. Archaeologists believe Egypt’s large pyramids are the work of the Old Kingdom society that rose to prominence in the Nile Valley after 3000 B.C. Historical analysis tells us that the Egyptians built the Giza Pyramids in a span of 85 years between 2589 and 2504 BC. Is it possible that a creosote bush is twice as old as that? At least one such plant was carbon dated to be more than 11,000 years old.

Creosote is the probably the most drought resistant perennial plant in North America. It must be to survive in a desert for that long.  And we humans think we are smart? As humans we naturally value what we do. Does anything we do compare with this? This was an old friend worth cherishing. I tried to show I appreciated it.

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