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Texas Mountain Laurel

Texas Mountain Laurel

Regular price $68.00
Regular price Sale price $68.00
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Sophora secundiflora

Sophora secundiflora, also known as Mescal bean or Texas mountain laurel, is a shrub or small tree that grows from a few feet to more than 30 ft. in height. Its dense, dark green, and glossy leaves comprise 7-9 leathery leaflets rounded at the ends, up to 2 inches long, and taper more gradually to the base than the tip. The bluish lavender flowers are very showy and fragrant and grow in 3-7 drooping clusters. The fruit is a semi-woody pod with bright red poisonous seeds.

This plant is very popular as a native evergreen ornamental tree within its range, valued for its handsome, dark green foliage and lush early spring blooms. It is drought-tolerant and prefers rocky limestone soil. It is native to central Texas, west to New Mexico, and south to San Luis Potosi in Mexico. Since it is a woody plant native to rocky soils, it grows slowly. The fragrance of Texas mountain laurel flowers has a pleasant aroma but can be overpoweringly strong and can waft a considerable distance from the plant.

The seeds of Mescal bean or Texas mountain laurel are bright red and contain the highly poisonous alkaloid cytisine (or sophorine), a substance related to nicotine. Indigenous people valued the brilliant, lacquer red seeds for ornament and ceremonial use. The bloom fragrance of Texas mountain laurel is often compared to artificial grape products such as grape Kool-Aid, grape bubble gum, grape soft drinks, etc.

Height: 15’-25’
Spread 8’-10’
Bloom: February-April
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade, Dappled Shade
Water: Low, Medium
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10
Origin: Southwestern United States

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