Japanese Pagoda Tree, Sophora japonica, is a spectacular late summer flowering tree. Also known as Chinese scholar tree , the Japanese Pagoda Tree is held in high regard throughout its Asian native range for its beautiful flowers. The tree is originally a native of China but was first described by western botanists in Japan thus its Jananese moniker.
The tree has some similarity to our native Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacaccia without the thorns. The fernlike foliage is similar as are the fragrant flower racemes. The tree form is different. The Pagoda Tree has a broader form and can reach 65′ or more though 30′ to 45′ is more common. It is hardy in zones 4 to 8.
The Japanese Pagoda Tree has a juvinile growth period that lasts several years. After this, the tree flowers profusly. The fragrant flowers are a favorite of honeybees and open during a time of year when few flowers are available, July and August. The flowers provide quality nectar and pollen.
After the bloom, the Pagoda Tree bears attractive golden seed pods which decorate the tree until the golden season of Autumn.
The Japanese Pagoda Tree is hardy in zones 4 to 8 and once established, resists heat, drought, and air pollution. It is an excellent flowering tree for streets and parks. Pagoda Trees