Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Texas Sage, Texas Ranger, Cenizo, Barometer Bush, Silverleaf, Purple Sage
Leucophyllum frutescens 'Compacta'

Family: Scrophulariaceae (skrof-yoo-larr-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Leucophyllum (loo-koh-FIL-um) (Info)
Species: frutescens (froo-TESS-enz) (Info)
Cultivar: Compacta

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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to view:

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #1 of Leucophyllum frutescens by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #2 of Leucophyllum frutescens by Xenomorf

By mjsponies
Thumbnail #3 of Leucophyllum frutescens by mjsponies

By palmbob
Thumbnail #4 of Leucophyllum frutescens by palmbob


3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Fires_in_motion On Jan 5, 2011, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

An amazing, incredibly fast-growing shrub. The four little 1-gallon plants that I planted in Dec. '09 (weeks before a devastating freeze) are now 5-foot tall behemoths. Their ridiculously silver color puts even the silverness of my Bismarckia nobilis (which they surround) to shame. They have literally never had a single brown leaf, and grow in such a pleasant "flame" shape that I have never had any desire to prune them. As with all varities within this species, they flower profusely whenever it's about to rain, hence their nickname of Barometer Plant. And yes, they can take lots of rain and humidity in this part of the world, so their adaptability to non-desert environs is exceptional.

Update, May 2012: I've planted 3 more, bringing my total to 7. And I could see myself planting a bunch more in any available free spot.

Positive mjsponies On Nov 27, 2008, mjsponies from DeLand/Deleon Springs, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant has been sooooo easy. It's taken over the northeast corner of the house, and requires very little care. It just GROWS. I liked it so much that I've put another on the southwest corner a bit farther away from the house now that I know how big they get!!

Positive Bisbeebloomer On Sep 14, 2008, Bisbeebloomer from Bisbee, AZ wrote:

This gorgeous plant grows well in our poor soil here in extreme south-eastern Arizona. Plant it in full sun. Either fall or spring planting will work. Water it every three or four days for the first two or three weeks; then water it about every week or 10 days for the first year. It doesn't like too much water and it doesn't seem to like--or require--supplemental fertilizer, although each year before the monsoons start, I give my whole garden a top dressing of manure--goat and rabbit are wonderful as they don't require any particular decomposition time--and let the rain soak it to make a wonderful "tea" that gets right down to the roots. If the winter is dry, water the plant about once a month. Blooming starts here in late spring and its bluey/purple flowers continue till late fall. It's a shrub; before you know it, it will be six feet tall. Be sure to give it room to grow. Pruning is not required; however, if you're using it as an ornamental, feel free to shape it. There are several varieties of sage in my garden for several reasons: the deer don't eat them, they're gorgeous plants and the birds, bees and butterflies adore them.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Benson, Arizona
Bisbee, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Ridgecrest, California
Deland, Florida
Vacherie, Louisiana
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Bandera, Texas
Houston, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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