Forestiera angustifolia

Forestiera angustifolia, Texas, courtesy of Mike Van Buskirk.

Forestiera angustifolia, also known as Narrow-leaf Forestiera, Desert Olive, Panalero, Elbow Bush and Chaparral Blanco, is a member of the Oleaceae family.

This evergreen shrub, which grows three to eight feet tall and equally as wide, has stiff, dense branches, emanating from the stems at approximately 90 degree angles, in the shape of elbows.

Dark green, dense, linear leaves are about 3/4 inch long.

This shrub grows in Zone 8 in the central, western and southern parts of Texas, and on the Rio Grande Plains in mixed-brush coastal areas or open woodlands, on dry, limey, well-drained soils.

Elbow bush is a useful plant for sunny, dry sites, or windy and saline locations.

The yellow-green flowers appear in the spring on separate male and female plants before new leafout.

Dark purple, one-seeded berries form in drupes and are a good source of food for livestock, small mammals and birds.

Forestiera angustifolia, courtesy of

Larvae of Sphinx libocedrus utilize this shrub as a foodplant.

Sphinx libocedrus courtesy of Michael Van Buskirk. (additional credits to follow)

There is some question as to whether the above larva is Sphinx libocedrus or Sphinx chisoya. There is even a question as to whether or not these insects are actually the same species.

Mike was successful in getting the larva to pupate. Hopefully next summer, we will have a live moth to display.

Sphinx libocedrus pupa, courtesy of Mike van Buskirk.

This plant is also listed as a host for Saturniidae Eupackardia calleta and Hemileuca chinatiensis.

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