Welcome this tough new Texas Ranger to the southwest scene
Say hello to a new cousin to the Leucophyllum family, a popular Southwestern shrub. Leucophyllum frutescens ‘San Antonio Rose’ is a cultivar of the violet-flowered brush known as the Texas Ranger, or barometer plant on account of its blooms’ sensitivity to humidity. San Antonio Rose is distinguishable by its silver leaves, larger flowers and compact bush structure.
This new Ranger, bred at Civano Growers, is heat-, cold- and most importantly, drought-hardy—tough enough to withstand the unforgiving soil of Southwestern cities, such as Phoenix, where Civano’s chief grow officer Nick Shipley hopes to see more of the Texan shrub reintroduced.
“The desert soil doesn’t drain well, and Phoenix is a more extreme environment than where this plant originates,” says Shipley. “Really, an urban setting is not its native habitat. So we’re breeding and selecting for this new terrain .”