Drive along any street in Austin this week and you are sure to see magnificent displays of Texas sage, Leucophylum frutescens. Almost all will hold purple flowers and they will be blooming in response to the rain we had just over a week ago. This is the one growing outside my wall. It receives only the rain sent from the sky and yet an almost immediate response. Known sometimes as the barometer bush, cenizo, rain sage or Texas lilac it is guaranteed to flower, like many plants, after a prolonged dry spell followed by rain.
When I stood by the plant yesterday all I could hear was the hum of bees. It was covered.
But it is rare to see a white blooming Texas sage. The cultivar, White Cloud, with its pale foliage and trusses of white flowers is growing in my front garden.
The plant is so gorgeous I can't take my eyes off it. Just think of it. 16 days over 100º and the rest hovering in the high 90s. Such beauty.
I didn't see another one as I drove several miles of roads today. Clearly not as popular as the purple variety.
Every gardener should have the Texas sage, whichever variety, but must also learn how to prune for effectiveness. It is a big plant and needs selective pruning to keep it looking its best. And by that I don't mean shearing. Pity the poor plants that have been hedge sheared-and there are plenty of them around.