Texas Mountain Laurel
Sophora secundifl ora
Mescal Bean, Colorino, Frigolito, Frigillito, Big Drunk Bean
This harbinger of spring is a native evergreen with luxuriant foliage and intensely fragrant, deep violet flower clusters. All parts of this plant are poisonous – children, pets and the unaware need be cautioned.
Narrow and upright, maturing into an open canopy, typically multi-stemmed
Plant as a specimen or in a group for visual impact, ideal for small locations. Plant in a location where the fragrant blossoms can be enjoyed.
Average mature sizes
20’ tall x 15’ wide
Slow, difficult to propagate and transplant due to its sensitive root system, thus larger specimens are relatively expensive in the nursery trade
Sun; may benefit from afternoon shade when young
Tolerates alkaline conditions
Prefers any well-drained soil
High; tolerates urban growing conditions
Evergreen, glossy, green leaves are thick and leathery, providing dense coverage
Purple flower panicles, very fragrant
Long hairy seed pods; white or red seeds are poisonous
Pests and disease
Earth-Kind ®plant: tolerates infrequent watering, poor soils, and is relatively pest and disease free. May need protection from a severe winter in the Brazos Valley/ Before 1000 A.D., Texas Indians brewed a ceremonial, hallucinogenic drink made from a mixture of powder ground from a seed and mescal (Agave) to communicate with the spirit world. In 1539, Cabeza de Vaca reported use of the red bean (seed) used in trading goods. At that time, a six foot necklace of beans could buy a small horse.
“For drought tolerance, no pests and ease of growing, our Texas Mountain Laurel is hard to beat.” – Paul Groom, Texas Gardening Guide.