American Snout

Theona Checkerspot

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The current rating for Cenizo is:

Garden Rating
Nectar Rating
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If you have experience growing cenizo, we would like your opinion. Let us know how it performed in your butterfly garden. Your comments will help other butterfly gardeners in your region to create better butterfly gardens:

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. Cenizo Leucophyllum fructescensOnce 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.

Celtis Pallida Native Range



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.


Cenizo Cultural Requirements
USDA Hardiness Zone
Zone 8
Bloom Period
Summer through fall, occasionally other seasons
Bloom Color
Pink-lavender, occasionally white
Plant Height
Average to 5 feet, up to 10 feet with watering
Plant Spread
4 to 6 feet
Light Exposure
Full sun
Soil Moisture
Low moisture, very well drained alkaline soil
Animal/Pest Problems
Deer will browse leaves, susceptible to cotton root rot (which is minimized by well drained soil).