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Torchwood, Chapotillo, Mexican Amyris, Mountain Torchwood Amyris, Sierra Madre Torchwood
Amyris madrensis


The leaves and flowers of Amyris madrensis are suffused with the aroma of citrus, not surprising since it is a member of the citrus family. A pretty, slender, densely-branched shrub, it is found in Texas only in the chaparral and thickets in the very southernmost Rio Grande Plains and is winter hardy only as far north as Houston. The glossy evergreen leaves are dark green and leathery, pinnately compound with 5 to 9 pairs of wavy-margined leaflets. The white flowers, inconspicuous but fragrant, appear spring to fall, and the fruit is a small, attractive, reddish-brown drupe, greatly valued by birds. Torchwoods are very tolerant of heat and drought. In their native habitat they grow in understory shade but can do as well in full sun. In zone 9 and below both mountain torchwood and Texas torchwood are attractive choices where an evergreen is needed.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub
medium shrub
large shrub

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: green or white, inconspicuous

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: small reddish-brown drupe with one seed

Height: 3 to 10+ feet

Width: 3 to 8 feet

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: adaptable

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9

Additional Comments: The name "torchwood" refers to the fact that the wood ignites easily.

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