Japanese Pagoda Tree (Sophora japonica)

Arabic name: صوفورا

The deciduous Japanese Pagoda Tree (Sophora japonica) is an attractive ornamental tree that produces clusters of slightly fragrant creamy white flowers in summer.  This native to China and Korea blooms from June to July.  The flowers are followed by showy seedpods that persist on the tree.

The Japanese Pagoda Tree grows to a height of up to 6m, with a spread of 6m, and has a moderate growth rate of about 25cm per year. 

It grows in full sun or part shade and is heat and drought tolerant.  It thrives in well-drained soil.

Water usage:
It requires no watering once established.  Generally, trees need supplemental irrigation to get established, especially if planted after the rainy season.  During the first year, irrigate in the amount of 20 – 25 liters of water twice a week.  During its second year, a tree needs to be irrigated in the amount of 40 liters once a week.  Beginning with the third year, trees usually get established, and some, like the Japanese Pagoda Tree, do not require any supplemental irrigation.

This deciduous tree grows into a broadly rounded fine-textured canopy tree with arching branches.  The green young twigs, turn gray with age. The pinnate compound leaves are 15 -25cm long, and are divided into 7 – 17 alternating ovate leaflets.   Flowers grow in drooping clusters of pea-like flowers, followed by 8 – 20 cm long showy yellowish seedpods that distinctly constrict between seeds.

Notes on use:
A good shade tree; tolerates pollution; is excellent along roads, in patios, and in parks.

May be propagated from seeds and softwood cuttings.

Flowers, fruits and leaves produce litter.

Image source: www.kingco.co.uk

Image source: www.kingco.co.uk

Image source: www.sadnica.rs

Image source: www.sadnica.rs

This article is part of a series of articles prepared by the Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) on water co nserving landscapes. 

For additional information on water conserving gardens, visit the CSBE web site at www.csbe.org

Support for the CSBE project on water conserving landscapes is provided by WEPIA (Water Efficiency and Public Information for Action), a program being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).