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11,700-year-old evergreen is oldest recorded living plant

The Nature Conservancy has announced plans to build an 11-acre preserve around a creosote bush that scientists say has been growing for 11,700 years. The desert shrub is the oldest recorded living plant.

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Known here as the King Clone, the patch of evergreen shrubbery measures 70 feet by 25 feet, and its age eclipses the 4,900-year-old bristlecone pine on California's White Mountains. It is called a creosote bush because it has a pungent odor like that of creosote, an oily liquid produced from coal tar.