Texas Mountain Laurel
This evergreen shrub can be found in Central, South, and West Texas as well as along the trails of Wild Basin. The mountain laurels flower in early spring (usually around March), and you may smell them before you see them! This shrub has gorgeous violet flowers that emit a smell similar to artificial grape (think grape gum or grape soda)! Mountain laurel is slow growing, but it is often used in Texas landscaping because it is drought resistant and has beautiful flowers. Its seeds are found in semi-segmented pods that and from the tree. The seeds themselves are a vibrant red and have been used as beads for thousands of years due to their color and super tough seed coat.
How to identify Mountain Laurel:
- Waxy/shiny dark green leaves
- Compound opposite leaves
- Grow to be ~15ft tall
- Often have multiple trunks
- When flowering look for violet blossoms and keep a nose out for the grape smell