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
2 ratings

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

Reducing Allergens in Yards and Gardens
January 31, 2012 - What are some allergen-free native plants to Central Texas that thrive in the soil and can survive in the weather?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of shrub in Georgia
May 26, 2010 - I have a bush that has red berries. It is evergreen and the leaves are a soft green. The berries are white at first and turn red. The bush is like a cluster of twigs that are in one area kind of li...
view the full question and answer

Plants for red clay in Hattiesburg, MS
May 16, 2011 - Looking for plants and flowers to plant in red clay?
view the full question and answer

Replacement for waxleaf privet
December 15, 2014 - i just removed some waxleaf privet due to reading about the invasive and allergy problem to it. Is indian hawthorn blueberry muffin any better? what shrub do you recommend? I want it to grow about 6-1...
view the full question and answer

Getting a senna to fill out from Irvine CA
May 30, 2013 - I have a Senna of some kind, started from a seed by a friend. I got it as a small,six in high) seedling. After two years it is now blooming beautifully, but is a single thin stem 4 feet tall with ve...
view the full question and answer

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