Texas kidneywood is an unarmed, much-branched shrub, 3-10 ft. tall, open, airy structure. A many-branched shrub with an open crown and gland-dotted, aromatic, resinous leaves and flowers. Its 3-4 in. spikes of white flowers are fragrant, as are the deciduous, finely divided leaves. Leaves up to 3 1/2 inches long, consisting of a central axis and as many as 40 small leaflets, each about 1/4 inch long, aromatic when crushed. Flowers are white, small, delicate fragrance arranged in spikes up to 4 1/2 inches long at the ends of branchlets, appearing intermittently from May to October. Fruit a pod about 3/8 inch long, often with a threadlike tip. Seed pods are somewhat persistent.
This tree and its relative, the more westerly E. orthocarpa, were once used in remedies for kidney and bladder ailments, hence the name.
Kidneywood foliage has a pungent, citrusy smell. Bees flock to the ambrosial flowers, which bloom at intervals through the warm months. The Dogface butterfly also eats kidneywood as larval food. Can create a small tree with proper pruning. May temporarily lose leaves during a dry spell. Drought-tolerant.
Butterfly Host Plant: Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia); Arizona Skipper (Codatractus arizonensis)
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade
Zone: 8, 9, 10, 11