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Texas Mountain Laurel
TexasMountainLaurel.jpg
Scientific name: Sophora secundiflora

Description and characteristics: Evergreen, usually multi-trunked shrub or small tree. Good choice for medians of roadways. Slow growing, especially the first year after planting. Common in limestone soils. Blooms attract insect pollinators and butterflies. Deer resistant. This is a Texas native plant.

Size: 10-15 ft.

Flowers: Bluish lavender flowers resembling wisteria, in 3-7 in. drooping clusters, are very showy and fragrant.

Fruit: Semi-woody pod with bright red poisonous seeds containing the highly poisonous alkaloid cytisine (or sophorine), a substance related to nicotine.

Requirements: Well-drained sand, loam, clay, caliche, limestone. Full sun. Tolerates drought. Good drainage.

Notes: This is a very tough plant! During the later half of May, 2014, these plants were infested with the genista caterpillar, Uresiphita reversalis. The caterpillar ate all the leaves, but by mid-June the leaves were coming back.

The caterpillar returned when the leaves reappeared. They completely defoliated the plant a second time. Manual removal of the caterpillars was done and in mid-July leaves were re-appearing.

Another round of defoliation occurred, but as of early August, 2014, leaves were emerging on one of the two plants.


City of West Columbia • PO Box 487 • West Columbia, TX 77486 • (979) 345-3123 • webmaster@westcolumbiatx.org
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