Elephant tree (Bursera microphylla)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Elephant tree
Give a thumbs up Torote

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Leaves: Fragrant
Flower Color: White
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots


Photo gallery:

Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Feb 7, 2019 11:56 PM

Desert pachycaul shrub or tree from the frankincense family with fragrant, pinnate leaves. Capable of growing to several meters tall, but often dwarfed or bonsai'd in habitat. New stem growth is red, fading to gray, with exfoliating papery bark. Displays a marked seasonal growth pattern (depending on rainfall) but is not strictly deciduous unless subjected to extended drought.

Sonoran Desert native, from northwestern Mexico and the far southwestern US. Called elephant tree in the US and torote in Mexico. Has supposed medicinal uses. Not to be confused with the very similar Pachycormus (the Baja elephant tree, copalquín or torote blanco) from the cashew family, which is endemic to Baja California. Both have the best form when grown hard and dry in full sun.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Cactus and succulents chat by Baja_Costero Feb 21, 2019 5:48 PM 3,801
Bizarre Caudiciforms by karmatree Aug 1, 2016 11:12 PM 13
a list of the species I have by adamgreen Oct 30, 2017 2:16 PM 20
What do you look for in a succulent? by adamgreen Dec 28, 2014 1:45 PM 53
Succulent and Cactus Chat for 2014 by gg5 Sep 12, 2018 3:08 PM 1,322

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