Texas Mountain Laurel
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Broadleaf, evergreen shrub 3 feet (0.9 m) tall, to tree-like, often with multiple trunks, to 33 feet (10 m) tall. Leaves alternate, compound (pinnate), 3-5 pairs of leaflets, leaflets oblong to obovate, notched at tip, mid-green above, silvery and silky below. Flowers pea-like, 2.5 cm long, violet-blue, fragrant, in terminal clusters (racemes) 3-5 cm long; blooms in spring. Fruit oblong pod, pubescent, to 20 cm long, hard and woody, indehiscent pod that is somewhat constricted between the seeds, which are red and poisonous.
- Sun and light shade, tolerates alkaline soil and intense heat. The seeds are poisonous, so remove young fruit if children are present to prevent seed development.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 7 Native to southeastern New Mexico to central and western Texas and adjacent Mexico.
- Taxonomy: Formerly this plant was know as Sophora secundiflora. Now the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) and the World Flora Online lists it as Dermatophyllum secundiflorum (Phytoneuron 57: 1–4. 2011). Some authorities place this plant in the genus Calia, hence Calia secundiflora.
Only a few selections available, including:
- ‘Alba’ - white flowers
- ‘Silver Peso’ - silvery foliage
- secundiflorum: with flowers on one side of the stalk.