We found the Berberis trifoliolata or Current-of-Texas (also called Wild Current) blooming on Saturday near the start of the Hummingbird and Butterfly Trail in the pollinator garden at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center near Fort Davis.
Since many of the desert plants are waiting for rain, our eyes immediately spotted the beautiful yellow blossoms in the shade of the pollinator garden. Edible red berries can be expected to appear in summer; they can be used in jellies, pies and cobblers. Click on this link to learn more about this plant's history and uses.
The plant can be found across southern Arizona and southern New Mexico to the Panhandle and Trans-Pecos region and into northern Mexico.
The plant is an evergreen shrub growing to 8 feet high and 6 feet wide. We especially enjoyed feeling the leathery blue-green foliage which resembled holly.
Want to see this lovely plant for yourself, and hike the trail? Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center's website says this about the trail:
The Hummingbird & Butterfly Trail
"This easy, but rocky, loop is only about 1/3 of a mile long. The trail starts at the pollinator garden and skirts the rocky outcrop of Cactus Hill. The views of Mitre Peak are spectacular and the trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that crowd the hillside attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other fun creatures in the summer."