I grew up in South Texas hearing the story of the ceniza plant and how it blooms before it is going to rain. What plant is the ceniza? Is that purple sage? Everything I have found on the Internet says purple sage grows up north and in the mountains. I was told that ceniza is purple sage. Well, if it is, it grows in the Rio Grande Valley. Can you offer me any help as to what plant the ceniza might be? Thank you so much. I am writing a children's book and I need to know.

The plant you refer to as Ceniza (Cenizo) is also commonly called Texas Sage, Purple Sage, Texas Silverleaf and a host of other names. Its botanical name is Leucophyllum frutescens. It grows natively from the western edge of the Edwards Plateau south through the Rio Grande Plains into northern Mexico. It is also found in New Mexico. It is grown as an ornamental shrub in a much larger area. While it has the reputation of blooming just before it rains (and some refer to it as the 'barometer plant), I do not know that anyone has ever established what triggers its blossoms. It certainly has a 'mind of its own' when it comes to blooming and does bloom throughout the growing season.

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