Friday, October 9, 2009

Cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens)

Two days after a rain, Cenizo, AKA Texas Sage, bursts into bloom, the furry silver leaves almost obliterated under pinky lavender petals.

Honeybees go crazy in bloom-time, heads and front legs disappearing into exotic spotted throats. It's a double-dipper for the bees--nectar and pollen. Click the picture for a close-up of the bees' pollen saddlebags.

In addition to providing nectar, Cenizo is a host plant for Calleta silkmoth and Theona checkerspot butterfly.

Native to the Trans-Pecos (photo from Big Bend-area Chihuahua Desert), cenizo lives in dry, rocky, alkaline soils. The plant can mature to 8 feet, is hardy to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and wants full sun to bloom. Drought tolerant, deer-resistant.

We're planting more next year.
 copyright Kathleen Scott 2009-2011 for Hill Country Mysteries

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