By David and Sharon Parrish
Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife GIS Lab
There are male and female plants, the male has two to five stamens surrounded by hairy bracts, while the female has yellow-green flowers with one two-lobed stigma. These are generally the first flowers to appear in the landscape blooming from late January to March.
Source: Joseph A. Marcus, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Downy Forestiera attracts bees and butterflies. When the female develops fruits, which are blue-black in color and fleshy, birds and small animals rely on these drupes as a food source. This shrub is also the host of the larval Hairstreak butterflies and is a nectar source for bees. There are two planted in the Butterfly Garden at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge.
Source: City of Austin, Texas
The Downy Forestiera is a rapidly growing plant and can reach fifteen feet tall and wide. The shrub tolerates many soil types and responds well in sun or partial shade. Once established, the plant can adapt to heat or drought. This plant can be pruned into a dense shrub or small tree with drooping branches of deciduous leaves.
Source: University of Texas, Austin
Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, Butterfly Garden Plant Pages
Delene Tull and George Oxford Miller, 1991, Field Guide to Wildflowers, Trees and Shrubs of Texas
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website, https://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=12350
Texas AgriLife, Texas Elbow-bush, Downy Forestiera, Spring Herald, Texas Forsythia, Spring Goldenglow, Tanglewood, Devil's Elbow, Chaparral, http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/nativeshrubs/forestierapubescen.htm
Texas SmartScape™, Elbow Bush, http://www.txsmartscape.com/plant-search/plant-details.php?plant=947