Purple Sage

Scientific Name: Leucophyllum frutescens
Abundance: common
What: leaves
How: tea
Where: arid plains, landscaping
When: spring, summer, fall, winter
Nutritional Value: medicinal

Medicinal Summary:
Leaves - antimicrobial; congestion relief; cough suppressant; liver protection (tisane)

Leaf Arrangement: The leaves are arranged alternately along the stems.

Leaf Shape: The leaves are simple, opposite, and lanceolate, with a length of approximately 1 to 2 inches.

Leaf Venation: The venation is pinnate but not highly noticeable due to the small size and simple structure of the leaves.

Leaf Margin: The leaf margins are entire, with a smooth and unbroken edge.

Leaf Color: The leaves are typically gray-green, and this color is uniform on both the upper and lower surfaces.

Flower Structure: The flowers are tubular and are clustered at the tips of the branches. Each flower has a five-lobed corolla.

Flower Color: The flowers can range in color from shades of purple to lavender or pink with a white throat spotted with brown dots.

Fruit: The plant produces small, inconspicuous capsules as fruit.

Seed: The seeds are contained within the capsules.

Stem: The stems are woody and may have a somewhat tangled or bushy appearance.

Hairs: The plant has fine hairs on the stems, leaves, and flowers contributing to a fuzzy or velvety texture.

Height: Leucophyllum frutescens typically reaches a height of 3 to 8 feet, forming a dense and rounded shrub.

Purple sage (also known as cezino) plant.

Close-up of single stalk.

Close-up of plant tip.

Close-up of single leaf.

Close-up of flower.

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Purple sage, also known as cenizos, gives rise to the purple prairies of Texas, though it's found mostly in the more arid regions. The plant retains its leaves all year long but the flowers appear in the summer and fall, blooming after rains. They prefer full sun in well-drained, alkaline soils.

The leaves are dried and then used to make tea. This tea is an enjoyable drink and often just drank for the taste. However, traditionally this tea was also used to fight the symptoms of colds, including the congestion, fever, and coughing. Recent research has shown these leaves help protect the liver.

Purple sage can be found for sale at most plant nurseries. If you are not in their native range, plant the cezino in full sun in a raised bed to insure adequate drainage. If kept to wet purple sage may die.

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