Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Texas Kidneywood
Eysenhardtia texana

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Eysenhardtia (eye-sen-HARD-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: texana (tek-SAY-nuh) (Info)

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive beazert On Jun 21, 2014, beazert from Decatur, TX wrote:

Planted two of these in a cactus rock garden driveway entry a couple of years ago. They get no supplemental water (500 feet from the house), but have easily survived the last two years' drought. There was a little die back from our record cold this winter (55 freezes), but they trimmed up nicely and are doing fine. A great xeriscaping shrub/small tree. Acquired from Stuart Nursery in Weatherford.

Positive sandravolk On Sep 23, 2013, sandravolk from Lake Dallas, TX wrote:

Attractive little tree that attracts a variety of bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects. Drought and heat tolerant. Tripled in size over the summer and really filled out, began blooming profusely in mid September. Am very happy with this nice easy care native tree and plan to add more next year.

Neutral htop On Aug 12, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant, but have observed it in its natural habitat. Another common name for this plant is Vara Dulce. It is a perennial, deciduous to semideciduous, many branched, open and airy structured, unarmed native shrub or small tree that inhabits southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. It is usually found on slopes and in canyons and is hardy to about 15F (-9C). Texas kidneywood is irregularly shaped and attains a height of between 3 and 10 feet and a width of between 3 and 10 feet. It requires full sun, is drought tolerant and needs soil that has good drainage.

The aromatic, finely divided (even-pinnate, 8 to 14 elliptical leaflets), grayish green, resinous leaves have a distinctive odor when crushed. From April to November, the small white vanilla-scented flowers appear on 3 to 4 inches long, dense, terminal spikes. The Texas kidneywood is a legume so the seeds are produced inside seed pods which are somewhat persistent.

It is a relative of kidneywood E. polystacha which was used in remedies for kidney and bladder ailments; thus, its name. Texas kidneywood is a host plant for the Arizona Skipper butterfly (Codatractus arizonensis). Because it requires very little water once established, it is a good choice for xeriscapes, wildscapes and as a backdrop in rock gardens.

Positive Super65 On Oct 10, 2004, Super65 from Belton, TX wrote:

Small unique shrub which is very drought tolerant. Also known as Rock Brush. Found growing in a gravelly canyon in southern Bell County west of Bartlett.


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

Anniston, Alabama
Tucson, Arizona
Austin, Texas
Bartlett, Texas
Crawford, Texas
Decatur, Texas
Garland, Texas
Hondo, Texas
Kendalia, Texas
Lampasas, Texas
Laredo, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Medina, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Waco, Texas
Weatherford, Texas

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