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Sophora secundiflora - (Ortega.)Lag. ex DC.

Common Name Mescal Bean, Texas Mountain Laurel
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards The plant, and especially the seeds, contains the poisonous alkaloid cytosine (or sophorin according to another report[82]), which resembles nicotine in its action and is similarly toxic[238].
Habitats Borders of streams, forming thickets or small groves in low rather moist limestone soils[82].
Range Southern N. America - Texas, New Mexico and Northern Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Sophora secundiflora Mescal Bean, Texas Mountain Laurel


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stan_Shebs
Sophora secundiflora Mescal Bean, Texas Mountain Laurel
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Stan_Shebs

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Purple. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded, Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Sophora secundiflora is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft 10in) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Broussonetia secundiflora. Virgilia secundiflora.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Hallucinogenic  Narcotic

Hallucinogenic, narcotic[82, 161, 192]. An infusion of the seeds is used[192, 200], half a seed is enough to produce intoxication[192]. An infusion of the ground up seed has also been applied to ears in the treatment of earaches[213, 257]. The seeds contain the highly poisonous alkaloid cytosine (or sophorine) - this substance is related to nicotine and acts violently in the human system[213].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Dye  Wood

Landscape Uses: Border, Espalier, Pest tolerant, Massing, Standard, Specimen, Street tree. A yellow dye is obtained from the wood[227]. Wood - very heavy, hard, close grained[82]. Of no commercial importance[227].

Special Uses

Espalier  Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in a well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun[200]. Succeeds in a hot dry position. Rather slow-growing and difficult to transplant[227]. A very ornamental plant[274]. This species has not been tried outdoors in Britain, it is possibly hardy if grown in the sunniest mildest areas of the country, or against a sunny wall in less mild areas[11]. It grows best in the warmer areas of the country where the wood will be more readily ripened and better able to withstand winter cold[219]. Plants should be container-grown and planted out whilst young, older plants do not transplant well[219]. The flowers have a powerful and delicious fragrance[82, 200], though some people find them offensive[227]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200]. Special Features: North American native, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[200]. Pre-soak stored seed for 12 hours in hot (not boiling) water and sow in late winter in a greenhouse[78]. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into individual pots in the greenhouse, and grow them on for 2 years under protected conditions. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their third year. Cuttings of young shoots with a heel, July/August in a frame[11]. Air-layering[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Acacia sophoraeCoastal Wattle, AcaciaShrub0.0 0-0  LMHNDM203
Sophora davidiiSophoraShrub2.5 5-8 SLMHNDM10 
Sophora flavescensKu Shen, Shrubby sophoraShrub1.5 5-9 SLMHNM032
Sophora japonicaJapanese Pagoda Tree, Scholar TreeTree20.0 4-9 FLMHNM232
Sophora mollis Shrub2.0 7-10  LMHNDM102
Sophora moorcroftiana Shrub1.2 -  LMHNM011
Sophora sericeaSilky SophoraPerennial0.3 -  LMHNDM30 
Sophora tetrapteraKowhaiTree10.0 7-10 SLMHNM002
Sophora tonkinensis Shrub1.0 -  LMHSNM02 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

(Ortega.)Lag. ex DC.

Botanical References

1182200

Links / References

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