Secora secundaflora (Texas Mountain Laurel)

PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 437
I planted one of these lovelies at my last house.  They are marvelous landscape shrubs/trees.  I love purple blooms so much.  They smell like bubble gum to some or like grape KoolAid drink to me.  Mine grew 15' before I sold that home and moved to a new house. 

The 2 planted here by previous owner were young shrubs 4 years ago when we purchased the place.  I've shaped them up more like trees so they won't overtake the walkway (which they were about to do, as they sprawl if left to their own devices).  I just topped them 3 weeks ago to get them to fill out  some bare spots and I don't want them to get too big and shade what little sun I have out front of the house.  Below is a south-facing photo of them (flanking the sidewalk).  Full shade in mornings; full sun midday; hot, afternoon sun the rest of the day.

I don't know if these evergreen plants are even available in the UK, but if they are, they are well worth a garden consideration.  They tolerate oppressive heat, drought, hard freezes, even the occasional snow.  They seem to require no fertilizing to bloom nicely or much care at all (other than pruning if you want to shape them away from their natural sprawling shrub growth tendency).  True survivors, these.  Sorry I don't have a photo of them in bloom to share (happens early spring).  A recent computer crash cause me to lose that photo. 


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  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,751
    edited 30 July
    Looks an interesting shrub to try in the UK , but I'm confused as to the correct nomenclature !
    Is it a) Secora secundaflora b) Sophora secundiflora c) Dermatophyllum secundiflorum ?

    Probably wouldn't survive the damp Winters here anyway :'(

  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 437
    My mistake.  Can we call it a senior moment?  It is indeed Sophoro secundiflora.  Actually, these trees will survive anything, I do believe, rain, humidity, snow, even an ice storm didn't kill it when many shrubs died off in the city about 7 years ago. Really, my last one went through all sorts of weather.  Worth a try if you can get them over there.
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  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,751
    Thankyou for your answer Peggy in Texas ; I reside in the drier Eastern part of the UK .
    Winters are usually mildish and fairly dry compared to some parts Britain .
    I will attempt to source one !
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,574
    Looks a beautiful and versatile shrub/tree Peggy. Never seen it here. The nearest would be Plumbago for a shrub and Jacaranda for a tree. Both are not hardy enough for my winter freezes (due to altitude) but are lovely on the coast.

    Which got me thinking about our joint ‘hot, dry shade under trees’ conundrum, what about a hardy plumbago as a ground cover plant? Info here:

    https://www.highcountrygardens.com/perennial-plants/unique-plants/ceratostigma-plumbaginoides

    I was interested to hear (on another thread) you thought Portulaca would grow in shade, must try it...

    There is also a gorgeous deep pink dianthus growing wild in the shade of trees near me, something else to explore...
  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 437
    edited 31 July
    They are lovely indeed, Nollie, reliably healthy, but may not be available in the UK or Spain.  Dianthus do well here.   I had two huge pots of it at the front door at my last house, in full sun.  Had some in the back garden in part shade and it did OK there, too.  Portulaca will tolerate a good bit of shade, but will bloom less than normal.  I love plumbago and a friend recommended the ground cover variety to me not long ago.  But my favorite plumbago is the larger Cape Plumbago.  Here's my piece at my last house:  https://imgur.com/jqr6wzy.  It gets about 1 m. x 1 m. and performs best for me in morning sun and afternoon shade, when it gets so scorching hot in Texas.    

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  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 437
    edited 31 July
    Here 's a much better picture I just took on this very sunny day.  This one is shaped to a 4-trunk tree; the other one just has 2-trunks as a couple had been cut off for some reason by previous owner when we purchased the house.  
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  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 437
    edited 31 July
    @ PaulB3, it would appear that the Sophoro secundaflora also pops up for the classification name Dermatophyllum secundiflorum, both classifications cite a common name is Texas Mountain Laurel.  So I learned something, after digging further into your question.  :)
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  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,751

    Peggy , it seems that only seeds are available in the UK !
    Think I'll give them a try .


  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 1,550
    edited 31 July
    There must be a very good reason why Sophora secundiflora a beautiful shrub is not to be found in UK.
    Link below says it is borderline hardy here.
    Probably winter wet rather than cold temps does for it.

    https://www.shootgardening.co.uk/plant/sophora-secundiflora
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 437
    Paul B3 said:

    Peggy , it seems that only seeds are available in the UK !
    Think I'll give them a try .


    Just an FYI, the red seeds are very hard (almost rock like) like lupine and bluebonnet seeds.  It is recommended they be poked with a strong needle or scarified with a knife edge first, then soaked in water-soaked paper towels in a saucer until that hard shell sends out a sign of root.   
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