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Marcus, Joseph A.
Forestiera pubescens Nutt.
Stretchberry, Elbow bush, Spring herald
USDA Symbol: FOPU2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Shrub with opposite, or nearly opposite, twigs, sometimes on long, arched branches. Common in open woodlands, brushy areas, and near streams. Leaves opposite, with a short petiole; blades up to 1 1/4 inches long, broadly ovate to narrower, with a rounded or pointed tip, tapering or rounded at the base, and with fine toothed margins. Flowers not showy, yellow, without petals, borne in small clusters on bare twigs in February and March, male and female on separate bushes. Fruit fleshy, dark blue, with a lighter bloom easily rubbed off, 1/4 inch in diameter and slightly longer than wide.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Opposite Leaf Complexity: Simple Size Notes:
5-10 feet Autumn Foliage:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar
AZ , CA , CO , NM , NV , OK , TX , UT USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low , Medium Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist Drought Tolerance:
Medium , High Conditions Comments:
Locally known as elbow-bush, so named because it typically branches at right angles. Early flowering period provides nectar
for early spring butterflies, particularly small butterflies such as hairstreaks. Foliage turns chartreuse yellow in fall.
BenefitAttracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Hairstreaks
Nectar Source: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TXSanta Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CATexas Discovery Gardens
- Dallas, TXBrackenridge Field Laboratory
- Austin, TXPatsy Glenn Refuge
- Wimberley, TXNative Plant Society of Texas
- Fredericksburg, TXNueces River Authority
- Uvalde, TXTexas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Austin, TXNPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter
- Fredericksburg, TXTexas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter
- Bastrop, TXNPSOT - Austin Chapter
- Austin, TXNational Butterfly Center
- Mission, TXJacob's Well Natural Area
- Wimberley, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0689
Collected Feb 9, 1994 in Bexar County by Mike FoxNPSOT 1072
Collected May 3, 1996 in Bexar County by Mike FoxNPSOT 0690
Collected Feb 9, 1994 in Bexar County by Mike Fox
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2011-04-28
Research By: TWC Staff