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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - August 11, 2014

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Final size of a Texas mountain laurel
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I have purchased a Texas Mountain Laurel. The plant tag says it will grow 25 to 35 feet. LBWF plant data base says 10 to 15 feet. Which data should I go with? It's either plant close but not close to the foundation of the house or out towards the cows and I don't think the rancher wants me poisoning his cows with the red seeds if I plant this along the fence line. Cows "tripping out" is not a pretty sight.

ANSWER:

If Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) is growing in an open, sunny spot it is unlikely to grow more than fifteen feet tall.  However, if the plant is growing in a shady location, even on the sunless side of a house, it may exceed twenty feet in its search for the sun.  It can be held to a lower height by lightly pruning the upper branches.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

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