Barometer Bush

(Leucophyllum spp.)

A close-up of the leaves and flowers of a Leucophyllum plant.

Leucophyllum is the genus for a group of hardy desert shrubs. Most people know it from the common name Texas Ranger or Texas Sage, though it is not a Salvia. Years of commercial cultivation has created a variety of sizes and colors that guarantee a visual variation for almost every desert garden. It blooms in ranges of deep purple to violet and periwinkle, and its fuzzy leaves range from green to silver-gray. Even its size can vary from large shrubs, reaching 6 feet, to smaller compact shrubs.

Sunnylands initially installed six specimens of Leucophyllum spp., but over the years, there have been a few species that triumphed in the gardens. They were the most pest resistant and stood out in color and form. We have reduced the original six to three highlighted species. They are distributed throughout the gardens and can be identified by leaf and/or bloom. The three are, by common name: Green Cloud, Heavenly Cloud, and Sierra Bouquet. They are grouped together here under their genus Leucophyllum, so that their visual features are easy to compare when standing in the gardens.

GREEN CLOUD (Leucophyllum frutescens ‘Green Cloud’)

Green foliage with purple flowers

HEAVENLY CLOUD (Leucophyllum x. ‘Heavenly Cloud’)

Green foliage with bright purple flowers

SIERRA BOUQUET (Leucophyllum pruinosum ‘Sierra Bouquet’)

Gray foliage with periwinkle flowers

 

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