This is it!….the 50th native in the 50 natives series. I can’t believe we made it. I might need to have a glass of wine to celebrate!
image from Sophora secundiflora
The last and final native is from Texas and I have to admit I am quite envious of Texas gardeners who can use such a beautiful plant. Mountain Laurel is an evergreen with aromatic violet flowers that can be shrubby, but lends itself to well to pruning into a small tree.
Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora)can be used as a specimen, patio, or street tree and is ideal for use as a screen, bank cover, or an espalier. It is a beauty in spring, when it displays its dense, pendulous clusters of purple/blue, fragrant flowers that are reminiscent of wisteria. The hairy seedpods which follow ripen to reveal the inner,bright red seeds. The seeds are quite decorative and have been used to make necklaces but they are also poisonous.
If using it in a design, try planting a row on 15′ or 20′ centers to form a nice canopy over a walk. The bark on multi-trunked specimens shows off nicely when lit up at night from beneath the canopy.
So there it is….now what? Well I have some ideas…I am still trying to figure out which I will take up right now….I am considering bringing back the ‘Can you make this into a garden series’ — but maybe renaming it to ‘Inspired by’ or something like that. (CYMTIAG is just too long and annoying to type). Also I think a series about plant pairs might be fun. Or maybe also a series that highlights less commercial plants — but not obnoxiously difficult ones, just those that are sadly underrepresented in average garden stores (but for no good reason except lack of imagination). The new thing (whatever it turns out to be) will start next Tuesday.