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Ebenopsis ebano (photo courtesy of Inga Spence/Alamy)
Ebenopsis ebano (photo courtesy of Inga Spence/Alamy)

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Zone
Zones 12, 13
Full Sun
Full
Minimal Water
Minimal

Ebenopsis ebano

Texas Ebony

Deciduous, Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees

This tough tree, native to arid parts of Texas and northern Mexico, is well suited to desert areas. The plant grows slowly to 30–40 ft. tall and wide, with branches that grow in a zigzag pattern and are sharply thorned. Without pruning, it will branch to the ground and form a tall, dense shrub. The medium to dark green leaves are divided into 6–10 rounded leaflets and drop briefly in spring, but the trees will remain evergreen with supplemental water. Small creamy flowers with a musty fragrance are produced in short clusters in early summer and followed by 6–12-in.-long seedpods, which can be messy when they drop. The tree may bloom again after fall rains. The rich grained wood is prized by woodworkers.

Water occasionally until established; then it needs little water. Prune lower branches to create a tree form (wear gloves to protect from thorns).

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