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Brief Summary

The family Zygophyllaceae includes several hundred plant species in around two dozen genera. Species in this family live in tropical and warm climates, especially in arid (and sometimes saline) habitats. Most species are shrubby, but some grow as small trees and some are herbaceous. This family includes a number of well known species. Caltrops (Tribulus terrestris) is widespread in the Old World and is now widely naturalized in the New World as well (where it may grow over large areas, sprawling over the ground and producing an abundance of hard, spiny nutlets, and is generally viewed as a noxious weed). The Creosote Bushes (Larrea) are drought-tolerant shrubs highly characteric of the deserts of the North American southwest and South America (the common name refers to the creosote odor that emanates from the plant). (Mabberley 2008)

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