* Gray-green shrub with aromatic smell. Leaves generally have three points or teeth (hence, tridentata).
* Drought tolerant. Requires full sun. Grows on well-drained soils. A marker plant for the Upper-sonoran desert life zone.
* Important habitat and food for many wild animals.
* Used medicinally by native Americans. Some groups wove its fibrous bark into mats, bags, and clothes. Tea from leaves was used for colds and sore throats. A decoction of the leaves is antiseptic and was used for cuts and sores and as a hair rinse to treat dandruff. Burning the leaves kept insects away.