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Aloysia gratissima (Aloysia lycioides) Bee brush, whitebrush
This native woody shrub may be large, but if you delight in butterflies, hummingbirds, finches, or sweet fragrance you must include it in your garden. The tiny, white (sometimes lavender-tinged) flowers, borne in spikes at branch tips, appear from spring through fall. They provide an enchanting lilac-like fragrance and hold enough nectar to lure both hummingbirds and butterflies. Finches flock to this bush to feast on its tiny seeds. The small, oblong foliage is muted green and rough in texture and is held on somewhat brittle, pale whitish tan stems. Bee brush typically grows at least 6 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. It finds most soils acceptable. Although it can tolerate some shade, place it in a sunny area to promote continued bloom throughout the warm season. Bee brush may be winter deciduous, but holds its foliage if situated in a sheltered spot.