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Sophora affinis

Previously known as:

  • Styphnolobium affine
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Texas sophora is a large deciduous multi-trunked flowering shrub or small tree in the Fabaceae (bean) family native to the south central U.S.A. Typically found in locations containing limestone soil.  In its native setting of along creeks, roadsides, pastures, plains, meadows and woodlands, it can be seen growing vine-like and spindly.    The black fruit pods that appear mid-summer through fall resemble a string of beads, hence the common name necklace tree. 

Plant it in the full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil and this plant will grow 15 to 35 feet high, though most are much shorter, and 10 to 20 feet wide with an upright oval crown  Trees located in full sun tend to be shorter in height than those that receive shade and flowering will be more abundant when planted in full sun.  This plant is very heat and drought tolerant.

The leaves are dark green and leathery. Rose-pink pleasantly fragrant flowers form in clusters in the spring resembling wisteria. Showy black pods that appear in the fall and remain on the tree provide winter interest.  The branches are low on the trunk so trees planted where vehicle or pedestrian access is needed will have to be pruned.  

This small tree is commonly used as an understory tree, as a specimen or the back of a border. It can also be grown as a container plant in cooler locations and relocated indoors during colder months.  Repot when growth has reduced, indicating that the container has become too small for the roots to property spread.   

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease issues. Soils must drain well or leaves will become chlorotic. The seeds and flowers are poisonous to humans.

 

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#poisonous#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#specimen#pink flowers#native tree#deciduous shrub#winter interest#understory tree#flowering tree#large shrub#vines#deer resistant#glossy leaves#fruits fall#black fruits#short lifespan#flowers early spring#deciduous tree#border back#bird friendly#vine#bee friendly#poisonous if ingested#native#flowers mid-spring#fruits winter
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#poisonous#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#specimen#pink flowers#native tree#deciduous shrub#winter interest#understory tree#flowering tree#large shrub#vines#deer resistant#glossy leaves#fruits fall#black fruits#short lifespan#flowers early spring#deciduous tree#border back#bird friendly#vine#bee friendly#poisonous if ingested#native#flowers mid-spring#fruits winter
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sophora
    Species:
    affinis
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South central U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas
    Wildlife Value:
    Pollinators are attracted to the flowers. Birds nest in the branches.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Nesting
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-trunked
    Oval
    Rounded
    Weeping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Black segmented bean pods with hairs on the constricted parts, which resemble a string of beads. Remain on the plant providing winter interest.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Rosy pink fragrant blooms 1/2" long in clusters 6" long appearing early to mid-spring. Flowering occurs for approximately 2 weeks.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Pinnately divided leaves with 6 to 8 pairs of elliptical to oval leaflets with rounded, pointed or indented tips. The whole leaf is 9" long.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    The thin, scaly, red-brown bark is easily damaged.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are smooth. Typically grown with multiple trunks.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Flowering Tree
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Street Tree
    Understory Tree
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    The seeds of this plant, are mildly poisonous if eaten. The poisonous elements of this plant resemble nicotine in its actions and toxicity. If seeds are ingested, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, excitement, delirium, and coma.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Seeds