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Aloysia gratissima (Whitebrush)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Aloysia gratissima

Aloysia gratissima (Gillies & Hook.) Troncoso

Whitebrush, Bee-brush, White-brush, Common Bee-brush, Beebrush, Privet Lippia

Verbenaceae (Verbena Family)


USDA Symbol: algr2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A fragrant, slender, erect shrub to 10 ft. with squarish stems, generally light gray bark, and branches sometimes bearing sharp tips. Leaves up to 1 inch long by 5/16 inch wide but often smaller, usually in clusters along the stems. Flowers small, white, crowded on spikes up to 3 inches long and extending above the leaves, appearing from March to November.

As the name beebush suggests, this is a honey plant. It also provides browse for wildlife.


From the Image Gallery

20 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Schizocarp
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall.

Bloom Information

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


Native Distribution: S. & w. TX & NM, s. to Mex.
Native Habitat: Rocky outcrops; desert grasslands; bluffs; open woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist, rocky soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type, Limestone-based
Conditions Comments: During warm months after rains this shrub produces showers of strongly vanilla-scented flowers. Bees love it. This plant can be pruned into a hedge or a small tree. Can form a thicket of stems from the base. Good background or screen plant for poor soils. Blooms best in full sun. Can be cut back to promote flowering and bushier growth.


Use Ornamental: Easily transplanted, Blooms ornamental, Showy, Hedges, Screens
Use Wildlife: Honey plant. Also provides browse for wildlife. Nectar-insects, Fruit-birds, Cover, Nesting site
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High


Propagation Material: Softwood Cuttings
Description: The most reliable method of propagating is from softwood tip cuttings, slightly woody at the base, taken in spring or early summer. Take the bottom cut just before a node. Untreated seeds held over winter and planted in the spring will germinate.
Seed Collection: Collect seeds in late summer when beginning to dry. Fruit may be slightly crushed and seeds removed by hand. Air-dry before storing in a cool, dry place.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Naval Air Station Kingsville - Kingsville, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0032 Collected Sept. 20, 1990 in Bexar County by Judith C. Berry

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium


Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
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 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 Aloysia gratissima in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Aloysia gratissima in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Aloysia gratissima


Record Modified: 2022-10-13
Research By: TWC Staff, MWJ

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