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Mr. Smarty Plants - Propagation by seed of Texas Mountain Laurel

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Saturday - September 20, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation by seed of Texas Mountain Laurel
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just harvested a grocery bag full of Texas Mountain Laurel seed pods. I want to cast them out in a field and wooded area near NW Austin. Is it best to leave the seeds in the pods or remove the pods? Should I put them out now(September) or spring? I do not intend to put in pots, just cast them out on the ground. any recommendations? Thanks, George

ANSWER:

Here are the propagation instructions as found on our webpage on Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel):

Description: Sow scarified seed after the soil has warmed in spring or fresh seed still swollen in pod in fall. Lightly cover the seed in a pot large enough to allow good root development the first year. A light dusting with a general fungicide is a good precaution to prevent a fungal infection. Mountain laurel seedlings grow slowly the first two years. Cuttings from juvenile trees may root.
Seed Collection: Fruit maturation occurs mid to late summer, but the fruit will remain on the plant through the winter, finally releasing the seed the next summer. Young fruit are large thick, leathery pods that appear brownish gray because of a layer of silky pubescence, which gives the pods a silvery luster. In their second year, the pods weather to become black and thin walled, and soon fall from the plant and deteriorate, eventually releasing the seed. The seed are usually deep red but can be orangish red to almost maroon. They are also very hard. Collect seeds when the pod begins to dry and the seeds turn red
Seed Treatment: Separate seeds from pod and store in bags or containers in a cool dry place. Soaking the hard pods in warm water will soften them and make seed removal easier. Seeds must be filed or mechanically scarified with a knife.

More information on the propagation and care of this plant can be seen on this USDA Forest Service website Sophora secundiflora.


Sophora secundiflora

Sophora secundiflora

Sophora secundiflora

Sophora secundiflora

 

 

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