Esenbeckia runyonii

Runyon's Esenbeckia, Berlandier's Esenbeckia, Jopoy, Berlandier's Jopoy

About This Plant

A small tree or large shrub related to citrus, with glossy trifoliate foliage and lobed seedpods that explode with dry seed. One of the few South Texas native evergreens, it may be the rarest tree in the entire state, with only a few wild populations ever discovered around Brownsville and mostly cleared for agriculture. It’s more common in the mountains of northeastern Mexico, where ranchers seek it out for living fenceposts. Although nearly unknown in commercial horticulture, its evergreen possibilities and tropical appearance have encouraged cultivation; it has survived subfreezing temperatures in San Antonio without significant defoliation. Most specimens in Texas today originate from a single Rio Grande Valley native grower.

Origins: Moist canyons of northeastern Mexico; occasional riverbanks in South Texas


None required, other than training and shaping. Prefers moist, rocky landscapes in its native range.

One of the rarest trees in Texas.

Min. Height: 6'

Max Height: 35 feet'

Min. Width: 6'

Max Width: 35 feet'

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