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Choisya dumosa (Mexican orange)
Anderson, Wynn

Choisya dumosa

Choisya dumosa (Torr.) A. Gray

Mexican Orange, Starleaf Mexican Orange, Zorrillo, Fragrant Starleaf

Rutaceae (Rue Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Mexican orange grows 1-3 ft., but can reach 6 ft. Rounded shrub with finely divided (star-shaped), dark yellow-green, persistent leaves. Axillary clusters of white flowers.

Choisya dumosa is desirable because of its compact size, showy flowers, and persistent, aromatic foliage.


From the Image Gallery

7 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Normally no more than 3 feet tall, but can reach 6 feet.
Leaf: Dark Green
Flower: Flower 1 inch
Fruit: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


Native Distribution: Mts. of w. TX to NM, s. to Chihuahua and Coahuila in Mex.
Native Habitat: Hillsides, Slopes, Canyons

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Well-drained soils, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Limestone-based, Igneous, Clay Loam.


Use Ornamental: Showy, aromatic, attractive form, foliage, and flowers. Can be used as a groundcover or a pot plant.
Use Wildlife: Cover, Nesting site, Nectar-insects
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate


Propagation Material: Hardwood Cuttings , Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings
Description: Seeds stratifies over winter or semi-hardwood cuttings taken from the tips of the stems. Hardwood cuttings taken in late fall or winter may also be used.
Seed Collection: Collect fruits in late summer or early fall. Do not allow seeds to dry out before sowing or storage. Stratify immediately after collection.
Seed Treatment: After collection, stratify in sphagnum moss in plastic bags at 40 degrees. Soak seeds for 10 minutes in hot water before storing or sowing to eliminate bacteria.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: If desired, prune after blooming to shape.


Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Choisya dumosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Choisya dumosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Choisya dumosa


Record Modified: 2023-05-16
Research By: TWC Staff

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