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Colubrina texensis (Texas hog plum)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Colubrina texensis

Colubrina texensis (Torr. & A. Gray) A. Gray

Texas Hog Plum, Texas Snakewood, Texas Colubrina, Hog Plum

Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)


USDA Symbol: COTE6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Small, thicket-forming shrub with a rounded crown and a snakeskin-like pattern on the bark. Hog plum is a thicket-forming, rounded shrub rarely over 3-6 ft. Its smooth, gray wood has scaly, brown markings which resemble patterns on snake skin. Slender, twisting branches; small, grayish-green, glossy leaves; and inconspicuous, greenish-yellow flowers are other plant characteristics.

The fruit is eaten by birds and other wildlife, and the plant also provides an important habitat for them.


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul


Native Distribution: Central and west Texas south to Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico
Native Habitat: Arid, brushy areas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Well-drained soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type.
Conditions Comments: Colubrina texensis is disease resistant and grows in poor, dry soils.


Use Ornamental: Colubrina texensis is disease resistant and grows in poor, dry soils. The branches have an interesting zizzag structure. The shrub can be useful as a dense, compact hedge plant in poor locations if encouraged by selective pruning.
Use Wildlife: The fruit is eaten by deer, javelina, and various birds and other wildlife, and the plant also provides an important habitat for them. Cover, Nesting site, Nectar-insects, fruit-eating birds, fruit-eating mammals.
Attracts: Birds


Description: Seed sown directly outdoors in the fall following collection; stratified seed; semi-hardwood tip cuttings
Seed Collection: Gather fruit as it truns black-brown but before it splits apart. If the pulp is still fleshy, it should be removed or allowed to dry on the seed. Fruit collected later in the season is usually dry enough to store intact with the seed. Cold dry storage for one season.
Seed Treatment: Stratification at 41 degrees for 30-40 days
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Naturally lanky and sparsely-branched, it can be pruned to a nicely-shaped shrub.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0302 Collected Apr 26, 1987 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 0740 Collected Apr 2, 1994 in Bexar County by Mike Fox
NPSOT 0843 Collected Mar 30, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe

3 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-CW-4 Collected 2009-07-31 in Mason County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
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
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-05-08
Research By: NPC

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