Hog-plum, Texas Colubrina

Colubrina texensis

Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn family)


Hog-plum is a many-branched, 4- to 6-foot-tall shrub. Some branches form slender, weak spines. The leaves are small, alternate, borne on stems and somewhat oval. Small, yellow flowers are solitary or on short, twig-like shoots. The small, brownish fruit is a hard, three-celled, spherical capsule.


Hog-plum is found in gravelly arroyos and on rocky hillsides in southwestern Texas.

Toxic Agent

The toxicity of this plant is questionable, and any potentially toxic agents are unidentified. The fruits and seeds are the plant parts of concern.

Signs of Livestock Ingestion

Hog-plum is browsed by all species of livestock. Controlled experimentation has not been performed to establish its potential toxicity. Field reports indicate that sheep may have been poisoned after ingestion of fruits and seeds. The condition is similar to lechuguilla poisoning, with clinical signs including: Photosensitization, with swelling of the head and ears; Jaundice (yellow discoloration of mucous membranes, eyeballs, skin, fat); Death.

Management Strategies

The plant is usually not a problem for livestock producers. Avoid placing sheep in pastures with heavy populations of hog-plum when the plant is in fruit or seed stages and when other forage is not readily available. Observe livestock closely and remove animals from infested pastures at the first signs of poisoning.