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NAMES
Family Simaroubaceae (Quassia-Wood Family)
Genus Species Castela erecta subsp. texana C. texana
Synonyms Castela texana, Castela tortuosa
Common Names Goatbush, Amargosa, Allthorn, Allthorn Castela, Bisbirinda, Texas Goat-bush, Chaparro Amargosa
Etymology
Names Comments
Names Notes
DESCRIPTION
Duration Perennial
Habit A medium-sized shrub with thorn-tipped branches, small linear leaves with no pitoles, four petal red flowers, and bright red shinny fruit.
Size 3 to 10 feet
Leaves Leaves are about one inch long and 1/4 inch wide, often in pairs slightly alternate, often less than the opposite side from each other. They have tiny petioles and appear to pop from the thorn branches. The margins curve in giving the leaf a thick or succulent appearance. On the tips there is often a small bud protruding which terminates the curved margins. The leaves can curl up in times of drought to help protect it from moisture loss. The top of the leaf is dark green and highly reflective. The bottom of the leaf is covered with microscopic hairs which often give them a silvery suede appearance.

The undersides of the leaves are very silvery, a characteristic that distinguishes it from lotebush (Ziziphus obtusifolia). [2]
Leaf Retention
Flowers The tiny reddish flowers appear in spring, followed by a small, flattened, brilliant red fruit. [2]
Flower Colors Red to Pink
Bloom Time Spring
Fruit red drupe with one seed
Seeds
Thorns or Spines
Stems and Trunk
Bark
Roots
Similar To
Description Comments
Description Notes
LOCATION
Distribution
County Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr
USDA Profile CAERT
USDA Hardy Zone 8
Native to Area
RGV Sightings
On Display
Location Comments
Location Notes Resaca de la Palma State Park, Harlingen Arroyo Colorado
PROPAGATION
Water Requirement Low
Light Requirement Full sun
Soil Moisture Dry
Soil Type Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Habitat Chaparral & brush country, Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Hillsides, Slopes
Propagation Comments
Propagation Notes
USES
Commercial
Ornamental
Garden
Hedges
Lawn
Exotic
Uses Comments
LEGAL STATUS
Invasive
Pest
Endangered
Legal Notes
ETHNOBOTANY
Folk Wisdom
Edible
Symbolism or Ceremonial
Poisonous
Fuel
Construction
Wood
Fibers
Oil
Soap
Wax
Dye
Chemicals
Solvents
Adhesives
Reactants
Fluids
Alcohol
Fragrance
Utility Comments
Utility Notes
DOMESTIC ANIMAL USE
Horses
Cattle
Sheep
Goat
Swine
Domestic Animal Comments
Domestic Animal Notes
WILDLIFE USE
Deer eat the fruit
Predators
Small Mammals small mammals use it for cover
Rodents
Birds
Butterflies
Insects attracts for the nector
Reptiles
Worms
Wildlife Notes It provides good cover for wildlife but its bitter taste gives it little forage and wildlife food value. [2]
Wildlife Comments
Field Notes
References [2] Texas Native Shrubs Texas A&M Ornamentals Native Shrubs Retrieved 03/14/2016

[4] Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Amargosa; Retrieved 03/14/2016

[5] American Journal of Plant Sciences, 2012, 3, 506-51; PDF Published Online April 2012 (SciRP.org/journal/ajps)

[6] Toxicol In Vitro. 2005 Feb;19(1):91-7. The amoebicidal aqueous extract from Castela texana possesses antigenotoxic and antimutagenic properties. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15582360

[J] John Wagman notes from observations, tasting, using, and investigating plants in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.

Photography Credits John Wagman 03/11/2016, Cameron County TX, Resaca del la Palma State Park UP 300480
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Family: Simaroubaceae (Quassia-Wood Family)
Genus Species: Castela erecta subsp. texana C. texana
Synonyms: Castela texana, Castela tortuosa
Common Names: Goatbush, Amargosa, Allthorn, Allthorn Castela, Bisbirinda, Texas Goat-bush, Chaparro Amargosa


Images of Castela erecta subsp. texana C. texana














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