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  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

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

Sophora secundiflora Mescal Bean, Texas Mountain Laurel
Sophora secundiflora Mescal Bean, Texas Mountain Laurel
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of cone
Sophora secundiflora is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft 10in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Broussonetia secundiflora. Virgilia secundiflora.

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge;
Edible Uses
None known
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].


Other Uses
Dye;  Wood.

A yellow dye is obtained from the wood[227]. Wood - very heavy, hard, close grained[82]. Of no commercial importance[227].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Espalier, Pest tolerant, Massing, Standard, Specimen, Street tree. 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.
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
Found In
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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Acacia sophoraeCoastal Wattle, Acacia20
Sophora davidiiSophora10
Sophora flavescensKu Shen, Shrubby sophora03
Sophora japonicaJapanese Pagoda Tree, Scholar Tree23
Sophora mollis 10
Sophora moorcroftiana 01
Sophora sericeaSilky Sophora30
Sophora tetrapteraKowhai00
Sophora tonkinensis 02


Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
(Ortega.)Lag. ex DC.
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.
Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Sophora secundiflora  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design

Twiter      Facebook


Content Help
Support Us
Old Database Search
About Us

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.