Herb: Texas Madrone

Latin name: Arbutus texana

Synonyms: Arbutus xalapensis

Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Medicinal use of Texas Madrone:

The bitter principles in the bark and leaves can be used as an astringent.

Description of the plant:


8 m
(26 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Dry limestone hills. Chaparral and somewhat humid oak forests.

Edible parts of Texas Madrone:

Fruit - raw or cooked. A sweetish taste, the fruit has a dry mealy flesh. It has narcotic properties. The fruit is up to 1cm in diameter.

Other uses of the herb:

Wood - heavy, hard, close grained. Used for small tools, mathematical instruments, rollers etc. It is a good fuel and also produces a fine grade of charcoal.

Propagation of Texas Madrone:

Seed - best surface sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed should be soaked for 5 - 6 days in warm water and then surface sown in a shady position in a greenhouse. Do not allow the compost to become dry. 6 weeks cold stratification helps. The seed usually germinates well in 2 - 3 months at 20C. Seedlings are prone to damp off, they are best transplanted to individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and should be kept well ventilated. Grow them on in a greenhouse for their first winter and then plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Basal cuttings in late winter. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, November/December in a frame. Poor percentage. Layering of young wood - can take 2 years.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry limestone hills. Chaparral and somewhat humid oak forests.

Known hazards of Arbutus texana:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.