Attractive flowering plants with showy, drooping clusters of sweet peashaped blossoms that are followed by interesting- looking seedpods. Leaves are divided into many leaflets. Be sure to provide good drainage.
- Small deciduous tree.
- Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
- Native to the Southwest.
- Fast growth to 1520 feet (rarely 30 feet.) tall, with a round canopy to about 15 feet across.
- Lustrous, dark green, 3- to 10 inches-long leaves with 13 to 19 leaflets, each 112 inches long.
- Blooms in late spring, bearing rosy pink to white, lightly scented flowers in pendent, 4- to 6 inches clusters.
- Lovely, slender, twisted black seedpods grow 36 inches long and look like strings of beads; they hang on through fall and winter.
- Tolerates thin, dry, limy soils.
david's mountain laurel
- Deciduous shrub.
- Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
- From China.
- Bushy, rounded plant to 812 feet tall and a little wider.
- Gray-green, 312 inches leaves divided into 13 to 19 oval leaflets, each under 12 inches long.
- In late spring or early summer, produces 6 inches-long clusters of small, white, fragrant flowers marked with purplish blue.
- Long (to 2 inches.), narrow pods are constricted between the two to four seeds held inside.
texas mountain laurel, mescal bean
sophora secundiflora (Calia secundiflora)
- Evergreen shrub or tree.
- Zones LS, CS; USDA 8-9.
- Shrubby, but can be trained into 25 feet tree with short, slender trunk or multiple trunks, narrow crown, upright branches.
- To 1520 feet wide.
- Leaves are 46 inches long, divided into 7 to 11 oval, glossy, dark green leaflets, each up to 2 inches long.
- Violet-blue flowers in drooping, 4- to 8 inches clusters reminiscent of wisteria smell like grape juice; midwinter to early spring bloom.
- Silvery gray, woody, 1- to 8 inches-long seedpods open when ripe to show poisonous, bright red, 12 inches seeds.
- If possible, remove pods before they mature.
- Thrives in heat and alkaline soil with good drainage.
- Choice small tree for street, lawn, courtyard.
- Old-time favorite in Southwestern gardens, though its floral display may be eliminated or sharply reduced if late freezes hit when the plants are in bud.
- Alba is a white-flowered form.
- Silver Peso has silvery foliage.