Texas Mountain Laurel

Dermatophyllum secundiflorum

Mescal Bean, Mountain Laurel, Frijolito, Frijolillo

About This Plant

Sun or shade; evergreen, with grape-scented flower clusters in March and April. The flowers resemble wisteria and bloom early in spring. Texas Mountain Laurel is found in the wild on well-drained Hill Country limestone; like many native evergreens it is slow-growing. However, it’s a popular landscape plant that also gets used in Blackland clays and occasionally on the sandy coastal plain. Local Native Americans considered the bead-like red beans so valuable they traded them over long distances into Mexico. They’re too hard (and poisonous) to eat, but children rub them on playground concrete until painfully hot, for a South Texas version of tag.

Origins: Texas south to central Mexico


Generally none required once established; there is no need to overwater this drought-hardy tree. The beans create some litter late in the year.

Fragrant purple flowers in early spring.

Min. Height: 6'

Max Height: 20 feet'

Min. Width: 4'

Max Width: 12 feet'

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