I posted a photo on the blog sometime ago asking if anyone knew what these strange looking pods were on this bush. Peg Keenan from Site 438 solved the mystery for me. This bush/tree is Sophora Secundiflora, also "Mescal Bean" or Texas Mountain Laurel. The pods contain bright red poisonous beans, but the landscaping book says the outer coat is so hard that they pass through the digestive system without harm. They can be drilled and used as beads. They can be used as a bush or trained as a tree which can grow to 20-30 feet. Book says it grows fastest in high heat, and is drought tolerant after established. Sounds like the perfect plant for our Arizona weather.
I went to Peg's house for a photo and was pleasantly amazed at how pretty the blossoms are and they have a wonderfully fragrant smell. Thank you, Peg, for the information.