Texas purple sage flowers; photo by Nancy Lee on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).
Official State Native Shrub of Texas
Texas designated Texas purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) as the official state native shrub in 2005. All State Plants
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, The State of Texas has customarily recognized a variety of official symbols as tangible representations of the state's culture and natural history; and
WHEREAS, Like the bluebonnet and the pecan tree, Texas purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) is indigenous to the Lone Star State and a treasured part of the Texas landscape; also known as cenizo, Texas silverleaf, barometer bush, and Texas ranger, the plant grows naturally on the Edwards Plateau and the South Texas Plains; and
WHEREAS, This hardy evergreen was first described by Jean Louis Berlandier, a botanist who collected specimens of Texas flora in the late 1820s and early 1830s; bearing silvery gray to green foliage, the shrub bursts into color year-round soon after a rain, with blossoms varying from purple to lavender, pink, blue, and white; and
WHEREAS, Native Americans brewed a pleasant herbal tea from Texas purple sage and used it to treat chills and fever; the shrub also provides forage for cattle, protection for birds, and a nesting place for songbirds, including the state bird of Texas, the mockingbird; in addition, the plant serves a multitude of design functions, working well as an ornamental shrub or as a hedge, screen, windbreak, or foundation planting; and
WHEREAS, Texas purple sage has been described as a plant that "can face droughts, freezes, high winds, salt spray, hungry deer, and blazing heat and keep right on performing beautifully," and such fortitude is a quality highly admired in the Lone Star State; and
WHEREAS, In view of this plant's important role in the ecology of Texas and its usefulness to the people of this land from ancient to modern times, it is altogether fitting that the Texas purple sage be appropriately recognized; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 79th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate Texas purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) as the official State Native Shrub of Texas.