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'Rain Cloud'

Big Bend Silverleaf, Lesser Texas Silverleaf, Littleleaf Rain Sage
Leucophyllum minus


Big Bend silverleaf, like cenizo (L. frutescens) and violet silverleaf (L. candidum), is an attractive shrub with silvery foliage and deep purple flowers that appear after rains in the summer and fall. It is the smallest of the three, growing only to about 3 feet, with tiny leaves covered with silvery hairs, and it is also the most cold hardy. Its native habitat is rocky limestone flats, slopes and mountains in the Trans Pecos and into Mexico and New Mexico. The same growing conditions apply to all Texas Leucophyllums: full sun and extremely well-drained, alkaline soil. However, Big Bend silverleaf is very difficult to propagate, and is therefore not available in nurseries. Benny Simpson developed a selection of a hybrid of L. minus and L. frutescens, 'Rain Cloud', with especially intense flower color.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: purple

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: capsule

Height: to 3 feet

Width: to 3 feet

Plant Character: semievergreen

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8

Additional Comments:

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