Arbutus xalapensis [Ericaceae]

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Scientific Name Arbutus xalapensis USDA PLANTS Symbol
Common Name Texas Madrone ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
Family Ericaceae (Heath) SEINet
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Description Habitat: Wooded, rocky hillsides and canyons.
Plant: Usually multi-trunked evergreen tree, 20 to 30 feet tall; colorful, exfoliating outer bark revealing polished, red, inner bark.
Leaves: Dark green leathery leaves with red-tinged edges and undersides, to 3-1/2 inches long, ovate-elliptical shape.
Inflorescebce: Small, white, urn-shaped, flowers in large clusters.
Fruit: Red or orange berries about 1/3 inch diameter.
Bloom Period: February to April.
References: www.wildflower.org and "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston.
Note: Drought in Big Bend in 2011 caused the loss of many Texas Madrone, but a few have survived in Green Gulch and elsewhere in the Chisos Mountains. On the other hand, the Texas Madrone in the Guadalupe Mountains NP were numerous and appeared healthy in 2017.
BONAP Distribution Map

Texas Status:

© Tom Lebsack 2023