Texas Torchwood

Amyris texana

Chapotillo, Wild Rue, Texas Torchwood

About This Plant

Understory shade or partial sun. Evergreen, with glossy compound leaves that perfume the garden with the fragrance of rue. Torchwood is dense and hedge-like, making a rounded shrub resembling boxwood. Tiny black fruit appears in autumn. Torchwood is a tough plant in clay or sand, but rare in the commercial trade; look for it at native plant vendors in central Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. It is relatively untested in rocky soils north of San Antonio, though it withstood icy 9-degree temperatures without serious damage in 2021.

Origins: Generally from the Rio Grande valley northward, to Goliad; widely used in landscapes


In sun, torchwood forms a dense rounded shrub that needs little care or shaping, and once established it needs no supplemental water either. It is fairly slow growing.

A cold-hardy native citrus, for fans of the low-maintenance evergreen meatball.

Min. Height: 4'

Max Height: 6 feet'

Min. Width: 4'

Max Width: 6 feet'

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