Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Texas Mountain Laural ( Sophora secundiflora )




This is an evergreen shrub native to the Texas hill country.

It will grow between 8′-20′ tall, but usually remains under 12′. Once it gets going it should form a more rounded shrub.

Flowers are star shaped.

Plant in full sun. It is an extremely slow growing plant. I had it in part shade for a year and it did nothing. Not a single new leaf appeared. I moved it to a sunny location last year. This year we have at least one bunch of flowers ready to bloom and more than a few new leaves. It takes about a year after it is transplanted to start to grow again. Try not to move it.

It will grow in dry soil. And it is one of a few plants that can thrive in alkaline soil ( pH 7+).

I had to re-locate this plant after Ike and it died. Again, find a good spot, Laurel really hates to be moved.

Cold tolerant, heat tolerant, the Houston temperatures are not a problem for this plant.

Watch for fungal leaf spot if we get a lot of rain in the cooler weather.

Watch for fungal leaf spots. They will be brown with yellow rings and randomly scattered in humid weather. Remove infected leaves and treat with a fungicide.

Yellowing leaves with green veins need either more iron, nitrogen or both. Fertilize.

All parts of this plant are toxic, deer do not usually bother it.

The psychoactive beans found in the pod are orange red and used in vision quests.  However they contain alkaloids, cytisine, N-Methylcytisine, sparteine, known of which are associated with hallucinations.  The beans were mostly used for decoration and have been found at old indian sites in the south western US dating back 7000 years from present date.