Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
4 ratings

Monday - February 20, 2006

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Medicinal Plants, Shrubs
Title: Use of cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) for tea
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Back in the 50's when I spent the summers with my grandmother south of Hondo, Texas, she use to pick leaves from the cenizo (purple sage) bushes, dry them and then brew them for tea. I asked one of my aunts about it and she can not remember that. Can you use the cenizo (purple sage) leaves as a tea? I know I use to drink the tea. Please let me know.

ANSWER:

Yes, the leaves of Cenizo, or purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) can be used for making tea. Christina Mild in Rio Delta Wild, an extensive article about cenizo, describes the use of tea made from its leaves for medicinal purposes in treating congestion, coughing, chilis and fever of the common cold. Also, the ethnobotanist, Benito Trevino, (in an interview by the Texas Legacy Project sponsored by the Conservation History Association of Texas) talks about using cenizo tea with sugar or honey added to treat symptoms of a cold. He also talks about the use of many other plants of the Texas Rio Grande Valley.

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Edible plants native to Bexar County, Texas
July 30, 2008 - What types of edible plants are native to Bexar county?
view the full question and answer

What is a groundnut? from River Vale NJ
July 11, 2009 - I just read the book "Mayflower" which talks about the Massachusetts natives and, subsequently, the Pilgrims eating groundnuts; mentions the groundnuts going to seed in early summer. What are ...
view the full question and answer

Vegetables for sustainable garden in Rochester NY
July 08, 2009 - I have decided to start growing a small sustainable garden. Therefore I have decided to plant mostly North American native greens and vegetables. I live in upstate New York and so the plants designed ...
view the full question and answer

Edible native plants in New York
July 29, 2013 - In your plant database- which is great by the way- it does not say whether or not the plant is edible. Do you have any way to search for edible plants? Or do you have a separate database? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Edible and Medicinal Plant Resources for West Texas
March 02, 2013 - I am a teacher of gifted and talented students in Paint Rock, Texas. We were looking for a reliable book or website for edible and medicinal plants in West Texas.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.