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Common Name:

Sandpaper Tree

Scientific Name:

Ehretia anacua

Family Name:



Sandpaper Tree is a large shrub to medium size tree native to South Texas. This species is quite site responsive and can on favorable locations become a medium size tree. The clean dark green foliage and attractive spring flowers make this a popular landscape tree in drier portions of South Texas.

Plant Habit or Use:

Large shrub, small tree, medium tree


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

White, showy

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Pea-sided yellow-orange to red-orange drupes, eaten by birds


15 ft to 25 ft (50 ft)


15 ft to 30 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Medium Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Familiarity may breed contempt as this plant is weedy in some areas, however it can be an excellent selection for xeric environments.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.