Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora 'Silver Peso')

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7a -17.8 °C (0 °F) to -15 °C (5 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 15 to 20 feet
Plant Spread: 8 to 10 feet
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Other: Silver-gray
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Purple
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Uses: Flowering Tree
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Wildlife Attractant: Hummingbirds
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Toxicity: Fruit is poisonous
Pollinators: Various insects


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Posted by mcvansoest (Tempe, AZ - Zone 9b) on Feb 17, 2016 7:32 PM

The 'Silver Peso' cultivar of the Texas Mountain Laurel generally has the same characteristics as the regular Texas Mountain Laurel except that its leaves have a grey-silver sheen to them, which sets it apart from the regular version.
I bought two of these to replace a fallen down Desert Museum Palo Verde, but these are very slow growers compared to the Palo Verde, which in the 4 years since falling over has grown back into a big sized tree, whereas the Texas Mountain Laurels are just now going on 5 feet tall or so.
They make for beautiful landscape plants, though, and the flowers are very pretty and fragrant, sweet and fruity smelling.
Here in Arizona the bush is an attractant for a small moth (the sophora pyralid moth) that lays its eggs on the plant, and the caterpillars can be quite destructive to young growth. For me the damage has been mostly cosmetic - ie. no lasting damage, except for possibly some growth retardation.

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