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Snake-eyes, Putia
Phaulothamnus spinescens


Snake-eyes is a rather rare shrub occurring on scattered sites of loamy or clayey soils in the bushy thickets of Cameron, Kenedy, Starr, Jim Wells, Willacy, Nueces and Cleberg Counties of the Rio Grande Valley area in south Texas and into Mexico. Its dense, divaricate and spiny branches hold small 1/2- to 1-inch linear, greyish-green leaves which may be smooth or fuzzy. Dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants) flowers precede the creamy, translucent, fleshy fruit holding a single black seed inside, which gives the impression of a snake eye. Deer browse its leaves, and it provides good cover for several species of birds. Phaulothamnus is of Greek origin and indicates an unattractive shrub that is unpleasant to handle.

Plant Habit or Use: medium shrub

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color:

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: globose drupe

Height: 10 feet

Width: 5 to 8 feet

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9

Additional Comments:

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