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Bark of an old tree

Bark of a young tree

Texas Madrone, Naked Indian, Lady's Leg, Texas Arbutus, Madrono
Arbutus xalapensis


Texas madrone occurs in the Trans-Pecos and areas of the Edwards Plateau. In early spring it produces clusters of the small, white lantern-shaped flowers that are so typical of members of the heath family. The yellow-orange to bright red berries that ripen in the fall rival those of any female holly tree. The evergreen leaves are dark green above and paler on the underside. Perhaps the greatest beauty of Texas madrone is its lovely exfoliating bark. When the older layers slough off, the newer bark is smooth and can range from white to orange through shades of apricot to dark red. Other members of the heath family grow on highly acidic soils in wet sites, but Texas madrone grows in a more xeric climate, must have good drainage, and grows equally well on slightly acidic to alkaline soils. In a landscape situation, the amount of water it receives and the type of drainage are much more important than the type of soil in which it grows.

Plant Habit or Use: small tree

Exposure: sun partial sun

Flower Color: white to pink

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: yellow-orange to bright red berries

Height: to 40 ft.

Width: to 40 ft.

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements: low

Soil Requirements: adaptable

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Additional Comments:

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