En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Problems with live oak in Carrollton TX
April 03, 2011 - This past winter was very hard on all the trees in our area in Texas, but added to our stress was the loss of three large Bradford pears just prior to the winter (23yrs old and over 50ft spans of limb...
view the full question and answer

Plant barrier to block view and noise of Florida Turnpike
August 05, 2009 - I live in Port St Lucie FL and my development backs to Florida turnpike. We want to plant to block noise and view. Any suggestions? thank you
view the full question and answer

Propagation of redbuds from shoots in St. Louis MO
July 17, 2009 - I have a beautiful, healthy old redbud tree that I love. Every year, I find baby redbud trees rooted all over my yard, Since they are deep, I can't seem to dig them out so I simply cut them down to...
view the full question and answer

Is Robinia pseudoaccia a good replacement tree for Shumard oaks in Austin TX?
February 27, 2013 - Recently two of our Shumard trees in the front of our house died. Both trees were small/medium in size having only been growing for 13-17 years. I've been reading about Black Locust trees which accor...
view the full question and answer

Theory for live oak shoots from Austin
August 25, 2011 - More on preventing suckers from coming up around live oaks in Austin. I too have been puzzled - why some live oaks have shoots, and not others. Posting here says different varieties have suckers. ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.

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 | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center