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Leucophyllum

Texas Ranger, Silverleaf
Scrophulariaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs

Native to the Southwest and northern Mexico, these compact, slow-growing shrubs are highly useful and attractive in desert gardens. Most have silvery foliage and a good show of 1/2–1-in.-wide flowers with an open bell shape. Flowering may occur at varying times of the year, often after summer showers. Need very good drainage. Tolerate heat, wind, and alkaline soil. Use as informal or clipped hedges, massed as tall groundcovers, or in mixed dry-country gardens. Unless formally hedged, the plants require little pruning. Old, straggling plants can be rejuvenated by cutting close to the ground.

Leucophyllum candidum

Grows to 5 ft. tall and wide, with small, silvery leaves and deep purple flowers. ‘Silver Cloud’ is a heavy bloomer with very white foliage. ‘Thunder Cloud’ is smaller than the species (to 3–4 ft. tall and wide) and has deeper purple, more closely spaced blossoms. 

Leucophyllum frutescens

Grows to 6–8 ft. tall and wide, with gray foliage and light purple flowers. ‘Green Cloud’ has bright green foliage and dark rose or magenta flowers; it may be deciduous in coldest winters. ‘White Cloud’ has gray foliage and white flowers. ‘Compacta’, with gray foliage and pink flowers, grows to 5 ft. tall and wide.

Leucophyllum langmaniae

Dense grower to 5 ft. tall and wide, with bright green leaves and ­lavender flowers. ‘Lynn’s Legacy’ (‘Lynn’s Everblooming’) flowers profusely over a long period in summer, even in coastal California. ‘Rio Bravo’ has rich green foliage and requires little pruning to maintain a tight, rounded form.

Leucophyllum zygophyllum

Grows to 3 ft. high and wide, with gray-green, slightly cupped leaves and light blue flowers. ‘Cimarron’ is a dense grower with bluish purple flowers tightly packed along stems; leaves have a distinctly cupped shape.

 

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