from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A spiny shrub (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) of western North America, having small alternate leaves, white stems, and small greenish flowers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several spiny shrubs containing oil, of the genus Sarcobatus, native to the United States.
  • n. Chamise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a scraggy, stunted, and somewhat prickly shrub (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) of the Spinach family, very abundant in alkaline valleys from the upper Missouri to California. The name is also applied to other plants of the same family, as several species of Atriplex and Obione.
  • n. A low hardy much-branched spiny shrub (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) common in alkaline soils of Western America.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of various low shrubs prevalent in saline localities in the dry valleys of the western United States. They are mostly chenopodiaceous, of the genera Sarcobatus, Grayia, Atriplex, Spirostachys, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. low hardy much-branched spiny shrub common in alkaline soils of western America


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From grease + wood.


  • Creosote (Larrea tridentata), also known as greasewood, is the most common shrub in three of the four north American deserts.

    Tucson Citizen

  • We call it "pitch-pine". similar to the south's "greasewood" You can tell the pitch-pine by the aroma.

    Start a Survival Fire With a Bullet

  • The plant is that locally known as "greasewood" (Scarobatus vermiculatus). —

    Original journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806

  • There is not a tree of any kind in the deserts, for hundreds of miles -- there is no vegetation at all in a regular desert, except the sage-brush and its cousin the "greasewood," which is so much like the sage-brush that the difference amounts to little.

    Roughing It

  • "greasewood," which is so much like the sage-brush that the difference amounts to little.

    Roughing It

  • Today, in the summer twilight at Bird Cloud, the greasewood and rabbitbrush hunch themselves into giant marmots, crippled elk.

    Bird Cloud

  • Cottonwoods along the rivers made the tallest vegetative layer, and on the surrounding prairies grew shoulder-high sage and greasewood, punctuated by the bunchgrasses close to the ground.

    Bird Cloud

  • But in most places, it was still necessary to “make your own road,” as I was so often instructed, by bumping over the path of least resistance in rock-strewn fields of tumbleweed and greasewood.

    Yellow Dirt

  • DOE had sprayed herbicides on the tailings piles to eradicate black greasewood and four-wing saltbrush at the site.

    Yellow Dirt

  • Where there was any vegetation at all, it was of the lowliest variety, resinous greasewood and creosote whose roots clung like talons to the sun-hardened earth.



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