En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - December 21, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Medicinal Plants, Shrubs
Title: Is cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) edible?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I found a post here about cenizo leaves being used for tea, but I'm wondering if the leaves of the cenizo are edible? I have found many recipes for 'brown butter sage' leaves (sauteed often with onion) but am unclear if cenizo falls into the edible category .. I appreciate this service very much! Thank you!!

ANSWER:

You are, I think, referring to a previous question that asked about using Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) leaves for tea.  Christina Mild in Rio Delta Wild talks about using the leaves to make a tea that is reputed to ease symptoms of the common cold.  The description of the tea's smell (like sweaty socks) doesn't make it sound very appealing.  Since cenizo in the Family Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family) isn't really a sage in the Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family) and its leaves are rather thick and tough, I doubt that they would be very tasty.  Here's another opinion about eating cenizo, or Texas sage, that mentions that not even deer or rabbits will eat the leaves unless they are really desparate.  Since the plant does not appear on any of the following toxic plant databases—Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock, Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants, Toxic Plants of Texas, or the California Poison Control System—I doubt that it would harm you to eat it, but I also doubt that you would find it very palatable.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Deer Resistance and Erosion Control for St. Louis County MO
January 03, 2014 - I am looking for deer and rabbit resistant native plants for erosion control on a steep ravine slope with part sun and part shade in St. Louis County MO.
view the full question and answer

Looking for a Privacy Barrier Plant for NC
August 21, 2014 - I am trying to determine the best plant for a privacy barrier for my area in NC that has clay soil. I have a 6 foot high fence but need something 12 feet or taller. It has to be something that does no...
view the full question and answer

Shrub that does not attract birds in Michigan
June 17, 2009 - Does a "Center Glow" ninebark have seeds? I want a shrub that does NOT attract birds!
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree or shrub in Massachusetts
May 16, 2013 - Good morning, We are in Zone 5 and have a tree/shrub I cannot identify in the backyard of our new home. Tall (6')and growing, green stems,and when the stems are broken the branches smell of lemon o...
view the full question and answer

Plants dying in circular garden in Killeen, TX.
July 31, 2012 - I have a large circular garden in my backyard out in the country in Killeen Texas. Last year two elms died. This year the Rose of Sharon has been dying one by one. One bush will completely die off bef...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center