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Origin and Habitat: Mexico ( Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Sonora and Zacatecas) especially common and conspicuous in in western Sonora and almost all of Baja California with a few marginal populations in south-central Arizona (reaching northern limits in some Phoenix-area mountain parks) and extreme southern California. Its distribution nearly coincides with the extent of the Sonoran Desert. Altitude range: From near sea level 915 metres. Habitat and ecology: Sonoran desertscrub in slopes, bajadas, canyons, arroyos and plains. Bursera microphylla is the most northerly member of the Burseraceae in North America and also perhaps the most xeromorphic species within the genus as it thrives in the extremely arid desert. Birds appear to be primarily responsible for seed dispersal in Bursera. While the aromatic sap of this and other burseras smells pleasant to humans, it tastes foul and functions as an herbivore deterrent. This defense is apparently effective, since the Bursera's foliage is nearly always intact.