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Thamnosma texana (Texas desert-rue)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Thamnosma texana

Thamnosma texana (A. Gray) Torr.

Texas Desert-rue, Dutchman's Breeches, Rue Of The Mountains, Ruda Del Monte

Rutaceae (Rue Family)


USDA Symbol: THTE2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A low, aromatic plant with a woody base and thin, herbaceous stems 12-20 inches tall. Grows in open and brushy areas in shallow soil over limestone, more common west of The Hill Country. Leaves small, narrow, up to 3/4 inch long by 1/16 inch wide, dotted with glands visible under a 10x hand lens. Flowers small, 1/8 to 3/16 inch wide, arranged along the upper half of the stems, appearing from March to June. Fruit a 2-lobed capsule having an inflated appearance and giving rise to the name "Dutchman's Breeches."


From the Image Gallery

24 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AZ , CO , NM , TX
Native Habitat: Rocky meadows and slopes over limestone in the Edwards Plateau, into south Texas and west to Trans-Pecos Texas. Loam, sand, limestone.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry


Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Eastern Black Swallowtail.
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Black Swallowtail
(Papilio polyxenes)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Propagation Material: Softwood Cuttings
Description: Cut new growth when most tender, before budding in spring, also can have new growth in fall.

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
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0192 Collected Mar. 15, 1992 in Comal County by Mary Beth White

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

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

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-28
Research By: LAL, LAS

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