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| Southwest Bernardia, Brush Myrtlecroton, Oreja de Raton, Myrtlecroton|
Southwest bernardia is a densely branched shrub with unusual foliage - dark green, hairy, wavy-margined leaves. Common from Mexico through South Texas to Central Texas on dry caliche slopes and canyons, it is extremely heat and drought tolerant, able to thrive even on sparse existing rainfall. It flowers from early spring through late fall, but the flowers are small and inconspicuous, males and females appearing on separate plants; the fruit is a grayish-brown, 3-chambered capsule. It is thought to be cold hardy to zone 6. Because it is so adapted to heat and drought, has a unique, attractive appearance, and provides food and habitat for wildlife, southwest bernardia is an obvious choice for dry sites or gardens, either as a speciman, hedge, or background plant. It is a host for butterfly larvae, and also a source of nectar.
Plant Habit or Use: medium shrub
Flower Color: inconspicuous, not ornamental
Blooming Period: spring
Fruit Characteristics: 3-celled gray - brown capsule
Height: 3 to 8 feet
Width: 3 to 8 feet
Plant Character: semievergreen
Heat Tolerance: very high
Soil Requirements: alkaline