|Texas Sage, Texas Ranger, Silverleaf, Cenizo
|Mexico, S.E. Asia
Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas Sage, Texas Ranger, Silverleaf, Cenizo)
Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas Sage, Texas Ranger, Silverleaf, Cenizo), Under quasi-desert conditions, purple sage is a dense rounded 3-5 ft (0.9-1.5 m) semi-evergreen shrub. In an irrigated garden, it is inclined to be a more open 5-8 ft (1.5-20.3 m) plant. It has 0.5-1 in (1.3-2.5 cm) felty wavy-looking ovalish alternate leaves with silvery pubescence. The five-lobed tubular 0.5-1 in (1.3-2.5 cm) flowers are borne singly in the leaf axils. They have spotted throats and a typical foxglove family character. The flowers appear after summer rains, sometimes covering the plants with white, pink, lavender, purple, or blue blossoms for a spectacular week long display. Two-valved capsules filled with small wrinkled seeds follow. Alba has white flowers, whereas Rain Cloud has violet-blue. Green Cloud produces green foliage and pinkish flowers. Sierra Bouquet bears lavender-blue blossoms on plants with very silvery leaves. Pink flowered Compacta is a smaller variety used for low hedges and foundation plantings. Relatively evergreen Bertstar Dwarf, which is sold under the name Silverado Sage, has a rounded 4×4 ft (1.2×1.2 m) form and is exceptionally full and dense even at the base. There are several similar Leucophyllum species , but the literature is confusing as to just how many and which varieties represent which species. Here is a reasonable guess at how they sort out: Barometer bush (L. minus) is a small twiggy shrub with violet flowers from the Trans-Pecos region; the variety Silver Cloud has silvery white leaves and dark blue flowers. L. violaceum is a purple-flowered species from the Chisos Mountains. Violet silverleaf (L. candidum) is a very dense shrub represented by two noteworthy varieties: White Cloud has pale gray leaves and light blue flowers and Thunder Cloud has intense purple flowers and a more compact shape. Lynns Everblooming, a cultivar of L. langmanae, is a low growing dense gray-green shrub that produces lilac pink flowers most of the summer. Chihuahuan rain sage (L. laevigatum) is a more open shrub with up-turned branches and small flowers. Blue rain sage (L. zygophyllum) is a small, dense, very slow growing plant that takes shearing well.