Agarita

Agarita in bloom. (Courtesy of Paula Richards)
Agarita in bloom.
(Courtesy of Paula Richards)

A Texas native, the agarita shrub is well-known for it’s beautiful evergreen, holly-like foliage.  Note the spiky leaves.  It is one of the first bloomers of the year, with sweet-smelling yellow flowers from February to April.  While in bloom, it’s a real bee magnet given they have little else to choose from this early in the year.  When it’s red berries ripen, it draws birds and small mammals to enjoy a feast.  Humans use them to make lovely jelly and wine.  It is often referred to as Chaparral berry or wild currant.  Drought tolerant, and wildlife friendly, the agarita makes a good addition to any native plant garden.