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Cenizo

Leucophyllum frutescens

Texas Sage, Texas Ranger, Texas Lilac, Barometer Bush, Senisa

About This Plant

Full sun (shade makes it grow leggy). Cenizo is evergreen, with silvery foliage covered with tiny dusty hairs. Sweet-scented pink flowers appear briefly after rain events in summer and fall. Texas Sage is another name for the same plant; cenizo (“ashen”) is a Spanish reference to the silvery leaf color. Cenizo tolerates poor soil, full sun, and drought, and thrives with or without rain. It is among the most drought-tolerant of all large landscape shrubs and makes a useful standard by which others can be measured. In full sun, it keeps a much denser form than Chinese holly, ligustrum, photinia, xylosma, and other upright non-native evergreens, without the need for constant hedging.

Origins: Northern Mexico and southwestern U.S.; south Texas.

Maintenance

Avoid overwatering or fertilizing to prevent cotton root rot. Mild hedging or tip pruning in spring and early summer is usually enough to preserve a dense form; avoid shearing. To restart leggy plants every few years, cut all the way to the ground in late spring; plants normally regain full size by late summer.

Texas Sage is the ultimate South Texas shrub: it thrives in summer heat.

Min. Height: 5'

Max Height: 7 feet'

Min. Width: 5'

Max Width: 10 feet'

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