Texas ebony tree grows quite well in Southern Arizona. Native to the Chihuahuan desert, this highly decorative tree is remarkably drought tolerant. Under ideal conditions, it grows to 30 feet tall with an equal spread. Medium green, compound leaves are arranged along thorny branches that twist and change direction repeatedly. Cream colored, fragrant clusters of flowers are produced from late spring to fall. These sweetly fragrant flowers are followed by large, dark brown seedpods. Texas ebony grows rather slowly, eventually becoming a small to medium-sized tree with a dense canopy. Formerly known asPithecellobium flexicaule, Texas ebony tree was recently renamedEbenopsis ebano.
Plant Texas ebony tree in the fall or spring in full or partial sunlight. It tolerates almost all soil conditions from deep, well-drained soil types to heavy clay. Water newly planted Texas ebony trees thoroughly, every 7 to 10 days, for the first year. In its natural form, Texas ebony grows a dense canopy to the ground. Prune in early summer to raise the canopy. Prune only a few side branches, until the crown is at the desired height. Wear protective clothing when working with this tree, as its stipular spines are very sharp. Water established Texas ebony trees twice a month in the summer and monthly in the winter. Falling seedpods create litter that may be a problem in high traffic areas.