Common Name
Sophora, Texas mountain laurel, mescal bean, coral bean, Frijollito
Botanic Name
Sophora secundiflora
Plant Family
Dry limestone soils of canyons
Native to Texas, New Mexico, Mexico and the Southwest. Commonly grown as an ornamental
Animals Affected
Humans, dogs, cattle, sheep and goats
Sophora secundiflora - Texas Laurel
Toxic Principle
The mature foliage and the seeds are most toxic. The seeds contain several toxic quinolizidine alkaloids including cytisine, with N-methylcytisine, anagyrine, and termopsine. Unless chewed, the seeds passthrough the digestive tract without causing toxicity.
An evergreen shrub to small tree with alternate leathery leaves, pinnately divided with 7-9 leaflets, notched, silky below; flowers pea-like, violet-blue, fragrant. The bright red seeds are produced in a hard, woody pod.
Stress or exercise often induces trembling , stiff gait, falling, and difficulty in rising. Animals recover rapidly if left undisturbed.
Special Notes
References 1. Kingsbury, John M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. pp 122. 2. Knauer KW, Reagor JC, Bailey EM Jr, Carriker L. Mescalbean (Sophora secundiflora) toxicity in a dog. Vet Hum Toxicol. 1995;37:237-239. 3. Izaddoost M, Harris BG, Gracy RW. Structure and toxicity of alkaloids and amino acids of Sophora secundiflora. J Pharm Sci. 1976;65:352-354.
Sophora secundiflora leaf and flowers
Sophora secundiflora silvery form
Sophora secundiflora pods
Mescal beans