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An evergreen tree 25 to 35 ft high with pinnate leaves 4 to 6 in. long, made up usually of seven or nine oblong or obovate leaflets which are 1 to 2 in. long, notched at the end. Flowers produced in racemes 2 or 3 in. long at the end of the leafy young shoots of the current year in spring. Each flower (of the normal pea-flower shape) is about 1 in. long, violet-blue and very fragrant (like violets).
Native of Texas, New Mexico, and North Mexico. It was figured by Ortega, the Spanish botanist in 1798 from a plant that flowered in Madrid. Decaisne, who figured it in the Revue Horticole, 1854, p. 201, observes that it withstands easily the climate of the midi of France. I do not know that it has been tried out-of-doors yet in this country but it is only likely to succeed in the sunniest, warmest localities and is better fitted no doubt for the south of Europe. It would be worthwhile trying it on a south wall, for Sargent describes it as one of the handsomest of small trees in the Texan forest, and hardy trees with fragrant violet-blue flowers are very rare.