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Rough Mortonia
Mortonia sempervirens subsp. scabrella


Dry rocky limestone or occasionally gypsum ledges, hills and rimrock from 2000 to 6000 feet in the Trans-Pecos provide habitat for a most distinctive western shrub, the rough mortonia. It also ranges into New Mexico, Arizona and Northern Mexico. Its rigidly upright form with white stems bearing bright grass-green, densely crowded, smallish evergreen leaves contribute toward its distinctive shape. The stems are often spine-tipped and its leaves are sandpapery to the touch. Rough mortonia is neither palatable to deer or livestock, nor does it have any commercial value, except perhaps for erosion control. Ornamentally it has potential as a small evergreen hedge or specimen plant, due to its compact size and erect stature.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub
medium shrub

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: white, creamy white

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: capsule or achene

Height: 6 feet, usually much lower

Width: 3 to 5 feet

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9

Additional Comments:

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