Mescalbean, Frijolito, Texas Mountain Laurel
Sophora secundiflora (Ort.) DC.
Family : Fabaceae
Longevity : Perennial
Origin : Native
Season : Cool
Mountain Laurel is an evergreen shrub with aromatic violet flowers. New leaves and stems appear hairy while mature leaves and stems are smooth. Branches grow upward in a slender canopy and can reach thirty-five feet in height. It grows in limestone soils of the South Texas Plains and Edwards Plateau. The flowers bloom from March to April and provide food for insects. The red seeds are extremely hard and are poisonous when eaten because they contain quinolizidine alkaloids. Symptoms in livestock include trembling when exercising, a stiff-gait, and falling. Mountain Laurel is commonly used as a landscaping plant, however some believe it to be a nuisance plant. There has been mixed success controlling mountain laurel with herbicides.
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