Madrone

 In
Madrone

Arbutus xalapensis
Texas Madrone, Naked Indian, Lady’s Leg, Manzanita, Strawberry Tree
20

25 feet
15

25 feet
Edwards Plateau, West Texas, and south to Central America
  • Central Texas
  • Texas
  • Part Sun/Shade
  • Low
  • Evergreen
  • Flowering
  • Birds

About This Plant

Rocky limestone soil in well-drained east- or north-facing sites, shaded by oaks or junipers. Madrone is evergreen, with white flowers in spring. It may be Texas’ loveliest tree, with peeling red bark revealing polished skin.  Mostly native to the Trans-Pecos, madrone occasionally occurs on the Edwards Plateau as far east as Travis County. Saplings benefit from the rich soil under juniper trees, but their range has diminished as cedar is cleared. Local growers sometimes specialize in madrone, and many native plant enthusiasts try their hand at growing it. However, it is famously difficult to transplant and does much better in West Texas. (The Botanical Gardens in San Antonio has a single specimen.) Still, madrone is listed here as a watersaver option, since it’s a tree that prefers life without automatic irrigation. In heavy clay soils of Bexar County, Texas persimmon and ‘Natchez’ crape myrtle have similar peeling-bark effects and are much easier to grow.

Maintenance

Outside its native range, madrone requires careful attention to establish properly; avoid automatic irrigation as this will only weaken the roots.

Features

Plant Type:
Small Tree
Size:
20-25' H, 15-25' W
Sunlight Requirements:
Part Sun/Shade
Soil Types:
Thin, Well drained
Wildlife:
Birds, Pollinators
Flower Color:
White
Bloom Time:
February, March, April
Freeze Hardy:
Yes
Invasive:
No
Caution:
None
Coupon Eligible:
No

This plant goes well with

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