Cenizo - Leucophyllum frutescens
Other common names for this plant include Barometer Bush,Purple Sage, Texas Silverleaf, Palo Cenizo, Hierba del Cenizo.
Cenizo has a lot to offer the butterfly garden: evergreen leaves, periodic flowering throughout the year (often after a rain), drought and heat tolerance, with a fast growth rate once established. In residential settings, it is often used as a foundation plant, hedge or screen.
A drought tolerant plant, cenizo should not be over-watered or grown in locations where water does not drain freely. Once established, cenizo needs no additional watering. Occasional light tip pruning will keep the plant from becoming leggy while also helping to promote heavier flowering.
For gardeners wishing to use native plants rather than exotics, cenizo is a good choice in place of Siberian peashrub (Caragana arborescens), Japanese privet (Ligustrum japonicum), and sacred bamboo (Nandina domestica).
Importance as a caterpillar food source: Theona checkerspot butterflies lay their eggs in groups on cenizo leaves; the resulting caterpillars feed on the leaves but do not defoliate the plant.
Importance as a butterfly nectar source: While cenizo is a nectar source for many pollinators, it is not a particularly popular nectar source for butterflies.
The native range of cenizo broadly follows the range of the Theona Checkerspot in Texas. While the Theona Checkerspot has a native United States range that includes New Mexico and Arizona in addition to Texas, cenizo's native range is limited to Texas.
|USDA Hardiness Zone||
Summer through fall, occasionally other seasons
Pink-lavender, occasionally white
Average to 5 feet, up to 10 feet with watering
4 to 6 feet
Low moisture, very well drained alkaline soil
Deer will browse leaves, susceptible to cotton root rot (which is minimized by well drained soil).