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Tree Handbook

Mescal Bean

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Montezuma Baldcypress
Texas Sabal Palm
Black Willow
Coyote Willow
Live Oak
Granjeno
Sugar Hackberry
Cedar Elm
Texas Ebony
Tenaza
Texas Huisache
Wright's Catclaw
Guajillo
Tepeguaje
Honey Mesquite
Retama
Texas Paloverde
Mescal Bean
Guayacan
Jopoy
Colima
Western Soapberry
Brasil
Coma Del Sur
Chapote
Rio Grande Ash
Anacahuita
Anacua

MESCAL BEANS.... Mountain Laurel
Sophora secundiflora - Fabaceae, Bean Family


DESCRIPTION: 
  • Small, evergreen tree, with dense, dark-green, glossy foliage.

  • Height: 25-35 feet.

  • Flowers: Fragrant, showy, bluish-purple; early spring.

  • Fruit: Woody pods to 5-inch-long, slightly constricted between the hard-
    shelled, red seeds.

  • Foliage: Dark-green, glossy leaves.

  • Bark: Dark gray to black, with narrow ridges and shallow fissures.

  • Growth rate: Slow to moderate.


REQUIREMENTS:
  • Sun: Flowers best in full sun; some shade tolerance.

  • Soil: Any; prefers limestone soils.

  • Drainage: Good to moderate, well-drained.

  • Water: Low; once established-, does poorly in wet areas; drought tolerant-,
    tolerates some salt. 

  • Maintenance: Webworms attack new growth; fungal canker can cause stem
    dieback.

  • Propagation: Fresh seed, scarified seed.

 

NATIVE HABITAT: 

Wooded areas near resaca banks in Cameron County.

WILDLIFE USE: 

Attractive to bees and butterflies.

COMMENTS: 

Red seeds made into jewelry; seeds are poisonous to humans; leaves and seeds are poisonous to livestock; good luck to carry a seed in your pocket. Very freeze-tolerant, one of the few plants that remained green after a major hard freeze; spring blooms have a wonderful scent which some people describe as grape bubblegum or Koolaid: young silver-velvet seed pods are very attractive in contrast to the glossy green leaves; beautiful ornamental to include in a smaller yard, patio or courtyard.

 

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