By Colleen Curran Hook, Executive Director at Quinta Mazatlan
Along with our friendly pride, we have various symbols that officially represent Texas. Today we are recognizing our native shrub, the Texas Purple Sage. When it rains in the Valley, you will notice this shrub as the purple flowers dominate the plant. The old timers in Texas called it the Barometer Bush as it has a habit of blooming right before a good rain. The native plant has been featured in many a Texas Tile like the famous western novel, “Riders of the Purple Sage”.
If you saw the shrub in bloom and did not know its name, my guess is you would make up a name to describe it. This probably explains why there are so many names for this native plant including Wild Lilac, Cenizo, Hierba del Cenizo, Texas Sage, Rain Sage, Texas Ranger, Texas Silverleaf and of course Purple Sage.
The Cenizo is a plant that can face droughts, freezes, high winds, hungry deer and heat, and keep on performing beautifully. And such strength is a quality highly admired by the Lone Star State. It is a great wildlife plant as it attracts bees, butterflies and other pollinators. The silvery foliage makes it a beautiful potted plant on your patio. Also a great accent plant and hedge. It can take full sun and grow up to 6’ to 8’ tall and asks for no special care other than to be remembered and planted!
Our Native Americans brewed a pleasant herbal tea from the Texas Purple Sage to treat chills and fevers. The Cenizo was also used as a “cleansing herb” by curanderos across Texas and Mexico. Rather than burning the bush, it was most often used in a bundle to sweep negativity out of people. So whether using Cenizo or some other method, sweep away all the negativity that comes your way—and amazing things will happen. Follow Quinta Mazatlán on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube @QuintaMazatlan to learn more about our natural and cultural heritage in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.