Calia secundiflora

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 Calia secundiflora subsp. var.  Frijolito, Mescal bean, Texas mountain laurel
Calia secundiflora flowers.jpg
Habit: tree
Height: to
Width: to
30ft 15ft
Height: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 30 ft
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 15 ft
Lifespan: perennial
Poisonous: all parts
Bloom: early spring, mid spring, late spring
Exposure: sun
Features: evergreen, flowers
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 8 to 11
Sunset Zones:
Flower features: blue, purple
Fabaceae > Calia secundiflora var. ,

Calia secundiflora is a species of flowering shrub or small tree in the pea family, Fabaceae,[1] that is native to the southwestern United States (Texas, New Mexico) and Mexico (Chihuahua and Coahuila south to Hidalgo, Puebla and Querétaro).[2] Common names include Texas Mountain Laurel, Texas Mescalbean, Frijolito, and Frijolillo.[1] It is an often-misunderstood plant, frequently confused with the Agave species used to make mezcal, as well as with Peyote (Lophophora williamsii), which contains mescaline.[3]

It is well-adapted to arid and semi-arid habitats but is most common in riparian zones.[1]

An evergreen, its leaves are pinnately-compound, with small, roughly spatulate leaflets; the leaflets are rather thick, and waxy to the touch Never tall, and rarely having a straight trunk, its bark is smooth in all but the oldest specimens.[4] It grows slowly to a height of 15 ft m and a crown diameter of 10 ft m .[5]

Extremely fragrant purple flowers, resembling the smell of grape soda, are produced in large clusters in March and April. They are followed by 4 in cm pods containing deep orange seeds.[5]

C. secundiflora is a popular ornamental plant due to its showy flowers and orange seeds. The reddish wood it produces is potentially useful, but as yet has little commercial value.

Further adding to this is the fact that the beans were in fact once used by some native American tribes as a hallucinogen, before being supplanted by peyote. This plant does not contain any mescaline, however; all parts of it are highly poisonous, due to the principle alkaloid cytisine, which is chemically related to nicotine.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Sophora secundiflora, Lag. Small tree, 35 ft. high, with short, slender trunk and upright branches forming a narrow head or shrubby: lvs. 4-6 in. long; lfts. 7-9, elliptic or obovate-oblong to oblong, rounded or emarginate at the apex, cuneate at the base, silky- pubescent while young, dark yellowish green above, 1-2 1/2 in. long: fls. violet-blue, the standard marked near the base with a few dark spots, very fragrant, about 1 in. long, in 1-sided racemes 2-3 in. long: pod white-tomentose, terete, 1-7 in. long, 1/2 – 3/4 in. thick; seed bright scarlet. Spring. Texas to New Mex.— On account of its handsome fragrant fls., to be recommended for planting South. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



Pests and diseases




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sophora secundiflora
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named GRIN
  3. Mescal Bean & The Unrelated Peyote Cactus
  4. Sophora secundiflora Texas mountain laurel
  5. 5.0 5.1 Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes

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