Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Like a wall of Texas mountain laurel

with 9 comments

Texas Mountain Laurel Flowering Densely 9571

Click for greater clarity.

While the picture of Texas mountain laurel, Sophora secundiflora, that you saw last month was a decidedly vertical one, here’s a view showing the horizontal top of one of these densely flowering trees that made me feel I was looking at a wall. I found this floral “mural” of Texas mountain laurel at the edge of a shopping center parking lot on Great Hills Trail just east of US 183 on February 25. Now here we are in mid-March and I’m still seeing plenty of these blossoms around town; the cool spring we’ve been having may have helped them last so long.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 11, 2013 at 6:23 AM

9 Responses

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  1. What a marvelous sight. I’m absolutely convinced some sort of strange phenomenon is taking place here. Many of our spring blooms, especially trees, just haven’t happened. I know there’s been more rain in your area, so that may be affecting things. You mentioned rain over the weekend – we got only .27″. Drought worries are real.


    March 11, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    • We got more rain than you, about one inch, but that’s still not a lot. Drought worries are real, indeed. I’ve heard that the Highland Lakes, which supply Austin with water, are at only 41% capacity, and that’s before six months of Texas summer.

      As for vegetation, each year that I’ve observed recently has been different from the previous ones, with some species earlier than average and others later. The mind wants to generalize, but I’m not sure how to in this case, except to say that each species seems to have a range of times within which blooming could be considered “normal.” On the other hand, you’ve seen some of the examples I’ve shown here of flowers that have appeared at times that definitely aren’t normal. I have the impression that there are more of those occurrences than there used to be, but I wasn’t paying as much attention years ago, so that might just be anecdotal.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2013 at 9:28 AM

  2. Wow, what a beautiful display!


    March 11, 2013 at 7:48 AM

  3. What a marvelous sight! Stunningly Beautiful! I have never seen this before (I live in Kansas), but I think that your picture gives me a good idea how beautiful it is!

    Wyatt VanDePol

    March 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    • Your reaction accords with that of the many people here who plant this small native tree for its once-a-year display of strongly scented flowers. Let’s hope you can come down from Kansas one spring and experience this for yourself.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2013 at 1:24 PM

  4. That is really gorgeous!


    March 12, 2013 at 11:06 PM

  5. […] (If that genus name rings a bell, it could be from the Sophora secundiflora that normally produces lots of purple flowers that smell like grape Kool-Aid. I say “normally” because the Texas mountain laurels in […]

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