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Texas Sage, Texas Ranger, Cenizo, Barometer Bush, Silverleaf, Purple Sage 'Compacta'

Leucophyllum frutescens

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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 mysel... read more


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!!


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. ... read more