The Texas ebony, native to southern Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, grows into a large evergreen shrub or small tree, eventually 20-25 ft. tall and wide. Dark glossy green leaves are bipinnately divided; branches are heavily armed with spines. Clusters of creamy-yellow flowers occur briefly in late spring; large seed pods, grow 4-6 in. long, become dark brown and persist for many months.
Texas ebony naturally occurs in arid habitats where it grows in dry chaparral woodlands and along desert washes. It is highly tolerant of sun, heat, cold and drought. For many years it has been a popular landscape and garden choice in the Coachella Valley and is just beginning to be planted in the Inland Empire as part of the emerging southwestern garden style. Mature plants are valued for their deep green foliage character that appears cool and fresh during the summer months. It prefers well-drained soils with periodic deep summer irrigation. Established plants can be very drought tolerant and hardy to 10°F.