Shrub in Central Texas

Asked November 10, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

I have a scraggly looking shrub growing along a fence line in an area with heavy clay soil. I'm replanting this area with native plants appropriate to heat, sun, soil, and most importantly height limitations (under utility lines). I haven't been able to ID it from a couple guidebooks, and photos are attached. Some of the leaves appear to be opposite, and others are compound, with smooth top and bottom with red leafstems. Veins appear to be generally alternate. Any ideas??

Brazos County Texas

1 Response

With just a quick glance, this appears to be Gum Bumelia. We use our Plant Picture pages for ID of native plants, then also the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is an excellent resource for all native plant materials.

See if the following info fits the plant. Here is source and info on it:

Chittamwood, Gum Bumelia, Woolybucket Bumelia

Bumelia lanuginosa

Chittamwood is usually found in open woods or along fence rows in all areas of Texas except the High Plains. The nearly evergreen leaves are thick and usually dark green on the upper surface, and white, gray, or tan underneath because of the numerous hairs. The inconspicious white flowers are borne in early to mid-summer in small clusters from the leaf axils and have a sweet and penetrating odor. One-inch-long, oval, blue-black berries ripen in the fall and are a good source of food for wildlife. The twigs are often armed with thorns at the tips. Children of early pioneers sometimes chewed the sap that oozed from cracks and wounds in the bark.

Plant Habit or Use: small tree

Exposure: sun partial sun

Flower Color: white clusters

Blooming Period: summer

Fruit Characteristics: blue to black berries

Height: to 80 ft.

Width: to 50 ft.

Plant Character: evergreen