En Español

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 24, 2008

From: Mabank, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Mountain Laurel growing in East Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I found a plant that looks like a Texas Mountain Laurel growing wild on a fenceline in east texas, near Canton. It is a small shrub/tree and has flowers like wisteria. It has "hairy" stems, they are not stickery but definitely hairy. The leaf looks like a wisteria leaf with rounded tips of the leaflets. The flower didn't have a noticeable aroma.

ANSWER:

The distribution of Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) is generally restricted to the Edwards Plateau, the South Texas Plains and the Trans-Pecos regions of Texas. You can see a distribution map from the USDA Plants Database. Turner et al. in the "Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas" shows an occurrence in McLennan County only four counties west and south of Van Zandt County where you saw it. There are, no doubt, other counties where S. secundiflora occurs that have not been recorded. If you would like to take photos of the foliage and the fruits (which should be forming by now) and send them to us, we would be very happy to try and confirm your identification. Visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page for instructions (in the lower right corner under "Plant Identification") on submitting photos. You might also like to contact someone in the Tyler Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) and take them to see the plant. A trained botanist can collect an acceptable specimen to submit to an herbarium to officially record the plant for the location. There are also other chapters of NPSOT near Van Zandt County.

As for the flower not having a noticeable aroma, sometimes they are not very aromatic and, also, some people (this particular Mr. Smartly Plants, for instance) can't detect the strong odor associated with the flower.


Sophora secundiflora

 

 

More Trees Questions

Native replacement for bamboo from Houston
May 21, 2013 - I've read one reply where you do not advise using Bamboo as a privacy fence plant. What do you suggest in its place? The suggestions on the one I read will not work for me. Your suggestions were My...
view the full question and answer

Reason for tree canopy dieback from Mahopac NY
May 21, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Not a questions, just sharing, re person in Texas whose Ash Jupiter appeared to be dying "canopy very thin on top". We moved to Putnam Co. NY in 1970. Our house was shaded by...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Sedona AZ
August 02, 2013 - I live In Sedona Az. A builder just built a house next to my house and the new house is ugly to look at. What plant or tree would grow fast and reach 18 foot in height fast. It can be about 5 to 6 foo...
view the full question and answer

Daily water absorption of live oak from soil
December 04, 2003 - How much water does the live oak absorb from the soil per day?
view the full question and answer

What to do about volunteer trees growing beneath a large live oak tree in Austin, TX
January 08, 2013 - We have a large live oak tree. Several volunteer trees are growing directly underneath it and into its branches. I want to cut them down if they are going to hurt the long term health of the live oak....
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Bibliography

Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas (2003) Turner, B. L.; H. Nichols; G. Denny; O. Doron

Search More Titles in Bibliography

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center