Landscape Plant of the Month

Leucophyllum frutescens, has many cultivars and is native to Chihuahuan Desert, Rio Grande, and Texas in the USA, which is why its commonly referred to as ‘Texas Sage’ or ‘Barometer bush’, although not related to actual Sage of the Salvia genus, Leucophyllum frutescens, is a small compact evergreen shrub that can grow to 2 metres tall with silver-green to greyish foliage and is adorned with an abundance of mauve tubular flowers during spring and summer. The reason why they call it a ‘Barometer bush’- in the USA, is that the flowers literally burst all over the plant after the monsoon rains. L. frutescens, is drought resistant, salt and wind tolerant and suitable for coastal planting. Two of the most common cultivars sold in Australia are L. frutescens ‘Lavender Lights’ and L. frutescens ‘Lilac Elegance’ and they generally grow to 1.5m tall x 1.5m wide and perform well growing in full hot sunny exposed coastal conditions and of course, they thrive here on Bribie Island. Leucophyllum frutescens ‘Lavender Lights’, does best in well-drained soils and responds well to pruning and can also be shaped into a tight mounds or hedges.

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