Sophora japonica (syn. Styphnolobium japonicum) Fabaceae
Japanese Pagodatree, Scholar-tree so-FO-ra ja-PON-i-ka
- Broadleaf deciduous tree, 35-50 ft (12-15 m), wide as it is tall. Stems 1 through 4 years old are green (or green-brown). Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 15-30 long, 7-17 leaflets, leaflets entire, ovate-lance-ovate, 2.5-5 cm long, green and lustrous above and glaucous beneath; the petiole (rachis) is swollen at the base and encloses the bud. Flowers pea-like, 1-1.5 cm long, ivory white, in large clusters, 15-30 cm long, appear in July-August (if it flowers). Fruit a pod, 8-15 cm long, bright green, glabrous (without hairs), changing finally to yellow-brown, 1-6 seeded, often constricted between seeds.
- Sun and partial shade. Best in loamy well-drained soil. Once established withstands heat and drought well. Tolerant of polluted conditions. Fast growing in some areas.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native to China and Korea.
- Styphnolobium japonicum [stif-no-LO-bee-um jah-PON-ih-kum] is now generally accepted as the
correct botanical name for the Japanese Pagodatree, however in commerce, the older name is often used. The nomenclature change is based on chromosome numbers as well as morphological and cytological differences (F.S. Santamour, Jr. and L.G.H. Riedel. 1997. J. Arboriculture 23(4):166-167).
- Corvallis: Coverland Park, large tree near the corner of Garfield Ave. and 29th St.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: large tree west of Bexell Hall.