Chrysactina mexicana

  • Drought hardy; aromatic foliage; provide well-drained soil
  • Low-growing; mounding; use in rock garden
  • Mainly blooms in spring and then on and off through growing season
  • Attracts bees; prune in early spring to shape

From April to September Damianita is covered with a profusion of bright, golden-yellow flowers. A small evergreen shrub with dark green, highly aromatic needle-like leaves, it grows on rocky limestone soils in the Trans-Pecos and Edwards Plateau and is extremely heat and drought tolerant. This feature plus its long blooming period, compact shape and evergreen foliage make it a valuable landscape plant, especially showy in mass plantings and very useful for erosion control on slopes.

Its rounded form makes a soft contrast to yuccas and agaves in a desert or rock garden. Damianita thrives in full sun and poor soils with excellent drainage and not amended with organic matter. It tends to grow leggy and less compact in shade. Although it is somewhat temperamental about pruning and can die if pruned back severely, pruning lightly in early spring will promote denser new growth. Like most desert plants, Damianita does not like wet feet (roots), especially in winter. It is cold hardy to about 10 degrees F.