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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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