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

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

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Propagating a new tree from a magnolia in Johnsburg IL
September 22, 2009 - My friend would like to reroot her magnolia tree in her front yard to bring it with her to Memphis. The tree is huge and easiest to reroot if possible. Does she trim branches to root, or dry the seeds...
view the full question and answer

Gathering seeds of Indian Blanket from Duncanville TX
June 09, 2012 - We have a field full of Indian Blanket that are blooming now and would like to share some seeds with our friends! Where is the seed on them and I take it we wait till they are done blooming to get the...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting trilliums in dormancy in Michigan
February 15, 2006 - I live in Michigan. I have a Trillium in my yard and we are having a new septic field put in. I need to know if I can save the whole plant and can I keep it in the house or do I just need the bulb a...
view the full question and answer

How and when to harvest bluebonnets.
April 30, 2010 - A previous answer mentioned harvesting bluebonnet seeds by pulling up the whole plant when the seed pods turn brown. Two clarifications - when do the seed pods turn brown as these plants are hard to ...
view the full question and answer

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center