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Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.

It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.

One of its medicinal names is chaparral tea, though it does not grow in Chaparral.

The Food and Drug Administration has considered banning its sale based on a couple of deaths attributed to drinking it.

Rain, however, volatilizes that waxy coating which then produces a distinct, camphor-like odor, which some desert dwellers call the smell of rain.

You can often experience the odor by cupping some leaves in your hands and blowing on them.

Creosote is an evergreen shrub, commonly up to six feet tall or taller, that has tiny green leaves, yellow flowers, and grey-fuzzy fruit.Going south along the Colorado River region, dry valleys contain only creosote and bursage, and in some places, even bursage disappears. It may drop leaves and branches to preserve water and nutrients in the root crown.There is a legend that creosotes inhibit growth of any other plants around them. The roots will excrete a substance which inhibits growth of bursage, its main competitor, and it will also inhibit germination of its own seeds so competing new creosote bushes will not grow nearby.Creosote also has antimicrobial properties, making it a useful first aid antiseptic.It is also beneficial in the treatment of allergies, autoimmune diseases, and Premenstrual Syndrome (Moore, 1989, p.29).However, “More than 60 species of insects are associated with this plant, including 22 species of bees that feed only on its flowers.

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