June pruning: Distinguishing traits. A desert native, Texas mountain laurel possesses survival traits necessary to thrive in an arid climate while exuding characteristics of plants from much more temperate regions. Naturally spreading and shrubby, it can also be trained as a multistemmed upright tree.
Dark green compound leaves cover its branches year-round, but its early spring blooms make Texas mountain laurel shine. Reminiscent of wisteria flowers, drooping clusters of violet-blue buds abound in midwinter. The flowers have been described as smelling like grape Kool-Aid or other artificial grape products. A relatively short bloom time leads to summer seed pods. If possible, remove the seed pods before they open in order to prevent the poisonous seeds from dropping.