This plant is wonderful. It's overused here in Tucson, but it is EXTREMELY low maintenance for your landscape. It is one of THE perfect plants for Tucson. For most of the year, it has a lovely silvery green glow to it, but it will also throw out some lovely purple flowers. It can be pruned or let to grow naturally. In a cold winter, the plant will die back until spring. New growth begins around March and into April. It's drought tolerant and NEEDS full sun. If not checked on a regular basis, this plant will spread out in your garden. I've had to pull several little Rangers out of the ground and keep the plant in check. Again, here is a report from Cathy Bishop on the Texas Ranger in Tucson.
"Oh, the joys of July! Let’s see, we have intense heat, microbursts of wind, threats of rain that don’t happen, sudden downpours that do happen. But, to make up for the weather not fit for man nor beast, we have Texas Rangers. What would summer in Tucson be without the seemingly miraculous displays of color popping up all over town with our many kinds of Texas Rangers? Where once there was a group of somewhat nondescript shrubs, the day after a storm turns them into balls of brilliant color. We are at no loss of fantastic choices to put to the test. The genus Leucophyllum has many species, which are known by numerous common names such as Texas Ranger, Texas Sage, Rain Sage, Cenizo, Silverleaf and more. In the past 20 years since the original Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum frutescens) became a staple in desert landscapes, horticulturists rose to the challenge of making these plants better. There are enough kinds of delightful hybrids to make everyone happy; there is the perfect one for every landscape. What everyone wants, and what research and hard work have given to us, are shrubs with better shape, better flower color and more frequent blooming. Among the varieties are:
> The small-leafed Leucophyllum laevigatum, most frequently called Chihuahuan Rain Sage, which fits well into landscapes that want to keep a natural desert look.
> Ones that stay compact for small landscapes, such as Leucophyllum zygophyllum Cimarron.
> One with fragrant flowers, Leucophyllum pruinosum Sierra Bouquet.
> Probably the most asked-for of the L. frutescens hybrids, Green Cloud and Heavenly Cloud, for those folks who want a thicker, greener shrub.
For all of the work that has been done in hybridizing Texas Rangers, the finest culmination appears in Heavenly Cloud. The shrub is well-branched and densely clothed with small, dark green leaves that hold well through temperatures even below 20 degrees. The shrub’s crowning glory is the full head of flowers that pops out with the slightest rain shower and glows with a color intensity not found in the other varieties. Somewhere in every landscape, there is a place for a Texas Ranger, so everyone can revel in the wonder of the day after the storm. Now, which one will it be?" End of article. Source: http://tucsoncitizen.com/morgue/2006/07/21/19495-texas-ranger-hybrids-grown-in-desert-hardy-varieties/
Another great choice for your landscape in Tucson, but be careful overplanting this shrub or your yard will look rather drab and dull. I like it has an accent plant and untrimmed. Until tomorrow.....