Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Sophora secundiflora:
Texas Mountain Laurel

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Form: A multi-trunked shrub that can be pruned into a tree.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Slow.
Mature Size: 15-25' high and 5-15' wide.
Flowers: Showy, fragrant, violet-blue flowers, in drooping clusters.
Bloom: Mid winter to spring. The blooming period for the entire plant is only one or two weeks.
Fruit: White to light tan bean pods, with a velvety coating, that persist for months.
Leaves: Dark green, glossy, thick, compound leaflets. This plant provides dense shade.
Stems: No thorns.
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies.
Toxic / Danger: Most parts of this plant are poisonous. The bright orange to red seeds are toxic.
Origin: New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8-11.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun.
Water once established: Deep soak monthly, and twice a month in the warm season. Weekly deep soaking in the warm season can speed root growth. Water at the drip line to encourage roots to grow wide and give the tree better resistance to strong winds.
Soil: Deep, well-drained, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline). *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
Prune: Monthly light trimming is recommended in the first five years to keep branches growing no faster than the roots. Clip the top branches to form a shrub shape, but avoid clipping too much at one time so that the remaining branches will not get sunburned, which allows insect infestation. Cut off the lowest branches over several years to gradually shape a tree. Flowers appear on old wood, so pruning can reduce flowers.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Ornamental, shade.

This plant is a member of the Legume family (Fabaceae).

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Sophora secundiflora: Texas Mountain Laurel - flowers

Sophora secundiflora: Texas Mountain Laurel - seed pods

Sophora secundiflora: Texas Mountain Laurel tree in bloom

Latest update: January, 2019
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