Stop and smell the grape candy. It’s Texas mountain laurel season.
One of the best things about living in Central Texas is the beautiful purple flower that blooms around this time of year. When temperatures first warmed up earlier this month, you might have started seeing Texas mountain laurel around your neighborhood. With the plant’s drooping clusters of color also comes a distinctive, faux-fruity aroma that Austinites can clock from a mile away.
According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Texas mountain laurel — that’s Sophora secundiflora to you — grows all the way west to New Mexico and south to San Luis Potosi in Mexico. The trees enjoy limestone soil, and they can grow to be more than 30 feet tall. If you’ve found a Texas mountain laurel, you’ve also probably peeped the large seed pods that carry bright red (poisonous) seeds.
Now, Texas is great at celebrating its state flower, the bluebonnet. That wildflower typically blooms in earnest around March. But since bluebonnets will have plenty of glory, we thought it would be nice to give our purple pals their moment in the sun.
We want your best Texas mountain laurel pictures. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a brief description of where you took the picture. We’ll print the best shots in this section next week, as well as include them in a photo gallery at austin360.com. Happy flower spotting!
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