SOPHORA

FAMILY: Papilionaceae

TYPE
  • Deciduous
  • Evergreen
  • Shrubs
  • Trees
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Moderate Water
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Poisonous/Toxic

Plant Details

Attractive flowering plants with showy, drooping clusters of sweet peashaped blossoms that are followed by interesting- looking seedpods. Leaves are divided into many leaflets. Be sure to provide good drainage.

eve's necklace

sophora affinis

  • Small deciduous tree.
  • Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
  • Native to the Southwest.
  • Fast growth to 1520 feet (rarely 30 feet.) tall, with a round canopy to about 15 feet across.
  • Lustrous, dark green, 3- to 10 inches-long leaves with 13 to 19 leaflets, each 112 inches long.
  • Blooms in late spring, bearing rosy pink to white, lightly scented flowers in pendent, 4- to 6 inches clusters.
  • Lovely, slender, twisted black seedpods grow 36 inches long and look like strings of beads; they hang on through fall and winter.
  • Tolerates thin, dry, limy soils.

david's mountain laurel

sophora davidii

  • Deciduous shrub.
  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • From China.
  • Bushy, rounded plant to 812 feet tall and a little wider.
  • Gray-green, 312 inches leaves divided into 13 to 19 oval leaflets, each under 12 inches long.
  • In late spring or early summer, produces 6 inches-long clusters of small, white, fragrant flowers marked with purplish blue.
  • Long (to 2 inches.), narrow pods are constricted between the two to four seeds held inside.

texas mountain laurel, mescal bean

sophora secundiflora (Calia secundiflora)

  • Evergreen shrub or tree.
  • Zones LS, CS; USDA 8-9.
  • Shrubby, but can be trained into 25 feet tree with short, slender trunk or multiple trunks, narrow crown, upright branches.
  • To 1520 feet wide.
  • Leaves are 46 inches long, divided into 7 to 11 oval, glossy, dark green leaflets, each up to 2 inches long.
  • Violet-blue flowers in drooping, 4- to 8 inches clusters reminiscent of wisteria smell like grape juice; midwinter to early spring bloom.
  • Silvery gray, woody, 1- to 8 inches-long seedpods open when ripe to show poisonous, bright red, 12 inches seeds.
  • If possible, remove pods before they mature.
  • Thrives in heat and alkaline soil with good drainage.
  • Choice small tree for street, lawn, courtyard.
  • Old-time favorite in Southwestern gardens, though its floral display may be eliminated or sharply reduced if late freezes hit when the plants are in bud.
  • Alba is a white-flowered form.
  • Silver Peso has silvery foliage.

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