Alternate name: Texas Mountain-laurel, Frijolillo
Family: Fabaceae, Pea view all from this family
Description Mescal bean or mountain laurel is an evergreen, usually multi-trunked shrub ranging from just a few feet tall to more than 30 ft. in height. Dense, dark green, glossy foliage is evergreen and the bluish-lavender flowers, in 3-7 in. drooping clusters, are very showy. The fruit is a semi-woody pod with bright red seeds.
Warning Seeds are toxic and can be fatal to children if eaten. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Habitat Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Canyons & valleys, Watersides (fresh).
Range Southwest, Texas.
Comments Mountain laurel is drought-tolerant. It can be cut back to encourage bushy growth, and can be used as an understory under live oak. The plant is strongly scented. Flowers and seeds are said to be poisonous.
Exposure Preference Sun to partial shade.
Flower March - April
Native Distribution S. & c. Texas, w. to mts. of s. New Mexico
Site Preference Brushy slopes; open plains
Soil Preference Dry, rocky soils.
Wildlife Value Flowers attact bees.