Japanese Pagoda Tree, Sophora japonica, is a spectacular late summer flowering tree. Also known as Chinese Scholar Tree, the Pagodatree is held in high regard throughout its native Asian range for its beautiful summer flowers.
The tree is similar to our native Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacaccia, without the thorns. The fernlike leaves are similar and the drooping flower racemes are very similar to the Black Locust. The form of the tree is very different. The Pagoda Tree has a broad form that can reach 70′ though 40′ to 50′ is more common.The Japanese Pagoda Tree has a juvinile growth period that lasts several years. After this, the tree flowers profusly and the fragrant flowers are a favorite of honeybees. The Pagoda Tree blooms during July and August, a time of year when few flowers are available. It is said that an acre of mature pagoda Trees can provide enough nectar to make 300 pound of honey.
After the bloom the Pagoda Tree sets 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, it resists heat drought and air pollution.
This is one summer flowering tree that can be part of any landscape.