Chaparral (Larrea tridentata), packet of 50 seeds


(Creosote Bush)
Family:  Caltrop (Zygophyllaceae)
Hardy to 5 degrees F, colder if kept dry.  The plant dislikes cold, wet conditions.
Evergreen perennial bush native to the SW US and Mexico.  This is one of the longest lived plants on Earth.  A living plant has been carbon dated to 13,000 years before the present. The antimicrobial, anticancer and free radical scavenging activities of the potent anti-oxidant NDGA and other molecules found in this plant are well-known. However, this is very potent medicine and in my opinion is best to use as a low-dose botanical, and best used externally.  Repeated internal overdose can be toxic to the liver and/or kidneys.  Plant prefers full sun, well-drained, alkaline and sandy soil.  Sow seed in spring or summer, in pots containing Cactus mix. Cover seed with 1/8 inch of sand and keep warm, in the light and barely moist until germination, which occurs in 3 to 5 weeks.  The seed itself is covered by a fuzzy pericarp, which does not need to be removed.  Upon germination, the pericarp often balances on top of the seedling like a little fuzz helmet.  After the seedlings reach an inch or two, individuate to gallon pots and grow out that way for at least a year before transplanting.  The plant may be kept in pots as a bonsai in places outside its native range.  Inside its native range it is OK to transplant outdoors.  Space plants at least 3 feet apart. 
50 seeds/pkt., Open Pollinated

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  1. Denise Lonewolf

    Could you detail the planting medium you used? & any other helpful suggestions. I live near Houston but there’s a spot in my yard that seems to think we are living in the desert.😕

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Denise,
      Chaparral is relatively easy to start from seeds. Use a standard Cactus Mix that you can buy at a nursery supply store, or make your own using 50% fast-draining ingredients (pumice/coarse sharp sand) and 50% compost. The more exacting recipe is in my book “The Medicinal Herb Grower.” Don’t overwater the seedlings, they tend to damp off.

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