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

Is mulberry tree inhibiting growth of plants under it in Wilmington DE?
June 21, 2009 - I have a large mulberry tree in my yard and the plants around it are not flowering or growing, some are now dead. Could the mulberry tree be toxic to other plants?
view the full question and answer

Soil for Emory Oak from Dripping Springs, TX
April 15, 2012 - I bought an Emory Oak today at the Wildflower Center's plant sale. Upon reading about it when I got home, I see "it won't grow in alkaline soils." I was hoping to plant it in the riparian area ...
view the full question and answer

Native conifer bearing evergreen for noise reduction
April 01, 2008 - I asked the prior question about noise reduction and you gave me several choices. Thank you for that. Of the plants you suggested, the wax myrtle is the tallest and therefore probably best for my 2-st...
view the full question and answer

Distance from existing oak trees to place paving
December 16, 2008 - We are designing an expansion for an existing veterinary office and the desired side for expansion will require addition to the parking and drive aisle to the back side of the property. My question i...
view the full question and answer

Is Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei) really native to the Texas Hill Country?
October 12, 2010 - I had heard that the Ashe Juniper was not native to the hill country or even Texas. Is this true? What is their history? They sure make it hard for the elms and oaks to thrive. We have decided to re...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center