Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora Secundiflora)

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January 23, 2022

Whereas the crimson bean inside is thought to be toxic, the shell is so laborious that if swallowed, it might probably cross by with no hurt.

Texas Mountain Laurel

Notice this plant was just lately reclassified to Dermatophyllum secundiflorum, however is usually nonetheless bought as Sophora secundiflora.


This evergreen shrub grows slowly, in time changing into treelike with a number of trunks. A typical mature dimension is 15 ft excessive and 10 ft large. Shiny darkish leaves as much as 5 inches lengthy are divided into seven to 9 1-inch rounded leaflets. Giant clusters of showy purple flowers cling heavy on the plant from February by March, filling the air with the perfume of grape soda. A wonderful silvery fuzz covers the woody, swollen seed pods, that are 4 inches lengthy and ¾ inch thick. The deep orange seeds inside are toxic, though it’s unlikely that the laborious pods may very well be penetrated.

Native Distribution

Texas Mountain Laurel happens in south-central and western Texas, New Mexico, and southward in Mexico to San Luis Potosí. It’s sometimes discovered on slopes, between 1,000 and 5,000 ft in elevation.

Texas Mountain Laurel could be grown in its pure shrubby kind or could be skilled right into a small tree by eradicating the decrease branches.


Texas Mountain Laurel’s usually gradual development fee could be elevated by thorough soaking a number of instances a month in summer time. Nonetheless, for those who’re the affected person type, irrigation could be discontinued after the primary or second yr of firm. Texas Mountain Laurel is hardy to close 10 levels Fahrenheit. It grows properly in alkaline soil with good drainage. Select a web site in full solar. Larvae of Pyralid Moth can infest the plant, feeding on younger development and the immature seed pods. Bacillus thuringiensis, a organic management generally utilized by vegetable gardeners, has confirmed efficient on the caterpillars.

Texas Mountain Laurel’s naturally shrubby kind could be skilled right into a tree by eradicating the decrease branches. Clip the seedpods off earlier than they mature if in case you have youngsters or pets who may attempt to eat the toxic seeds.

Panorama Use

Texas Mountain Laurel could be utilized as a small tree for tight areas corresponding to entry courtyards. The flowers are a really engaging characteristic, finest appreciated at shut vary, the place the perfume can also be most noticeable. Mild-colored crops paired with Texas Mountain Laurel will intensify its wealthy, deep inexperienced foliage. An impressive casual hedge may very well be created by planting a row of Texas Mountain Laurel and letting the shrubs develop with out shearing. The dense evergreen foliage may be used to display an unattractive view.

Do you know that as much as 70 % of water use is open air? That’s why we love desert crops and have them every month. You possibly can study extra about Texas Mountain Laurel and different crops on our Low-Water-Use Plants Page. Additionally, make sure you learn by all of our featured Plant of the Month blogs!

Now and again, Water – Use It Correctly options visitor bloggers who write about subjects associated to water and water conservation. Judy Mielke is a horticulturist, Panorama Architect and the creator of one in all Water – Use It Correctly’s favourite books. You will discover plant descriptions like this and lots of extra in her e book Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes.

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