Governor plant (Larrea tridentata)

There are many plants that live in areas where rainfall is rather scarce, but not all of them inhibit the development of their companions to obtain more water. One of them is what is known as the governor plant, because thanks to its ability to do this, it can stand proud and produce really beautiful flowers.

But for this reason it is not that it is one that can be had with tranquility in the garden; although on the other hand it does look great in a pot since it doesn’t grow much.

Origin and characteristics

The governor plant, whose scientific name is Larrea tridentata, is an evergreen shrub native to the deserts of North America. It reaches a height of 1 to 4 meters, with more or less straight stems from which resinous, dark green leaves emerge, and formed by two leaflets 7-18mm long by 4-8.5mm wide that are united in base. The flowers are up to 2.5cm in diameter and have five yellow petals.

The entire plant exhibits a characteristic odor of creosote, which is a chemical compound derived from tar that comes from the distillation of fatty coals. Despite this, Native Americans in the Southeast used it as a treatment for sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis, chickenpox, dysmenorrhea, or snakebite. To this day, the United States Food and Drug Administration advises against its use as it could damage the liver and/ or kidneys.

What are their cares?

If you want to have a copy, we recommend you provide the following care:

  • Location: outside, in full sun.
  • Soil – The governor plant grows in very well drained soils.
  • Irrigation: it is very resistant to drought. It can be watered twice a week in summer and once a week the rest of the year.
  • Subscriber: from the beginning of spring to the end of summer it is advisable to pay once a month with organic fertilizers.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in spring.
  • Rusticity: resists cold and frost down to -3ºC.

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