|Dermatophyllum secundiflorum flowers and leaves|
(Ortega) Gandhi & Reveal
Dermatophyllum secundiflorum is a species of flowering shrub or small tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the southwestern United States (Texas, New Mexico) and Mexico (Chihuahua and Coahuila south to Hidalgo, Puebla and Querétaro). Common names include Texas Mountain Laurel, Texas Mescalbean, Frijolito, and Frijolillo. It is an often-misunderstood plant, frequently confused with the Agave species used to make mezcal, as well as with Peyote (Lophophora williamsii), which contains mescaline.
An evergreen, its leaves are pinnately compound, with small, roughly spatulate leaflets; the leaflets are rather thick, and waxy to the touch. Never tall, and rarely having a straight trunk, its bark is smooth in all but the oldest specimens. It grows slowly to a height of 15 ft (4.6 m) and a crown diameter of 10 ft (3.0 m).
Further adding to this is the fact that the beans were in fact once used by some native American tribes as a hallucinogen, before being supplanted by peyote. This plant does not contain any mescaline, however; all parts of it are highly poisonous, due to the principal alkaloid cytisine, which is chemically related to nicotine.
- Gandhi KN, Vincent MA, Reveal JL. (2011). "Dermatophyllum, the correct name for Calia (Fabaceae)". Phytoneuron 57: 1–4.
- Uchytil, Ronald J. (1990). "Sophora secundiflora". Fire Effects Information System. United States Forest Service. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
- "Calia secundiflora (Ortega) Yakovlev". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2003-01-17. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
- "Mescal Bean & The Unrelated Peyote Cactus". Plants That Make You Loco. Wayne's World. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
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- Mielke, Judy (1993). Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes. University of Texas Press. p. 258. ISBN 978-0-292-75147-7.
- "Sophora secundiflora" (PDF). Digital Representations of Tree Species Range Maps from "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr. (and other publications). United States Geological Survey.
- Erowid mescal vault (Accessed 2/26/06)
- Dermatophyllum secundiflorum (as Sophora secundiflora)
- NRCS: USDA Plants Profile Dermatophyllum secundiflorum (as Calia secundiflora)