Sophora secundiflora

Frijolillo, Frijolito, Mescal Bean, Texas Mescalbean, Texas Mountain Laurel

  • Sophora secundiflora

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Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in hot tap water, let stand in water for 12 hours. If the seed fails to imbibe, boiling water may be required.
Stratification: none required
Germination: sow seed 1/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

Other: Hardness of seedcoat will determine how much scarification is required 

Sophora secundiflora, also known as Frijolillo, Frijolito, Mescal Bean, and Texas Mountain Laurel, is a slow-growing evergreen shrub or small tree that belongs to the pea family, Fabaceae. It is native to the southwestern United States (Texas and New Mexico) and Mexico (Chihuahua and Coahuila south to Hidalgo, Puebla, and Querétaro). An ornamental plant popular for its fragrant, purple flowers, it produces hard, bright red seeds and has a reddish wood, which is potentially useful but has little commercial value. Sophora secundiflora is an often-misunderstood plant, often confused with mezcal plant used in tequila manufacture and mescaline because of its name "mescalbean". However, it does not contain any mescaline, and all parts of the tree are highly poisonous due to the principle alkaloid cytisine, which is chemically related to nicotine. The plant prefers light, medium, and heavy soils with good drainage, and acidic, neutral, and basic soils. It grows up to 10 meters tall and is hardy to zone 8, surviving in dry or moist soils. Despite its toxicity, it has some beneficial uses: the seeds are sometimes used for necklaces, and the wood produces a yellow dye. Learn more about the versatile Sophora secundiflora and its unique characteristics.

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