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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Thamnosma texana - rue of the mountains

Synonyms: Thamnosma texanum
Other Common Names: Texas desert-rue, Dutchman's breeches, ruda del monte
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Rutaceae

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Patrick Alexander @
Patrick Alexander @
Patrick Alexander @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: A low plant with a woody base and thin, herbaceous stems. The leaves, stems, and fruits are all covered with tiny golden nodules that are aromatic when crushed.
Identification notes: Many stemmed herbaceous plant, other Thamnosma species is shrubby; leaves simple, fruit 2-lobed.
Height: To 1 foot


Habitat Description: Open and brushy areas in shallow soil over limestone; dry rocky meadows and slopes over limestone.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 3000 - 5000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White, yellow, purple     Shape: Regular in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Mar - Jun
Description: Flowers small, 1/8 to 3/16 inch wide, arranged along the upper half of the stems.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Grayish-green, light green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves small, narrow, up to 3/4 inch long by 1/16 inch wide and attached closely to the stem; leaves can be purple tinged; leaves, stems and fruit are gland-dotted, with a medicinal-spicy odor.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Greenish, yellowish, reddish   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: 2 lobed capsule having an inflated appearance and giving rise to the name Dutchman's breeches.
Seed Notes: Seeds are kidney shaped.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
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Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
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