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Texas Sophora Sophora affinis

Previously known as:

  • Styphnolobium affine
Description

Texas Sophora is a large flowering shrub or small tree native to the south central U.S.A.  The leaves are dark green and leathery. Rose-pink showy flowers form in clusters resembling wisteria.  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 use it as an understory tree.  Trees located in full sun tend to be shorter in height than those that receive shade.  Flowering will be more abundant when planted in full sun.

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.  

Hardy in Zones 7 through 9.  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: The seeds and flowers are poisonous to humans.

No serious insect or disease issues.

Soils must drain well or leaves will become chlorotic.

Trees planted where vehicle or pedestrian access is needed will have to be pruned.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#pink flowers#native tree#understory tree#flowering tree#large shrub#vines#deer resistant#frost tolerant#short lifespan#flowers early spring#deciduous tree#bird friendly#vine#poisonous if ingested#native#flowers mid-spring#bees#birds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#pink flowers#native tree#understory tree#flowering tree#large shrub#vines#deer resistant#frost tolerant#short lifespan#flowers early spring#deciduous tree#bird friendly#vine#poisonous if ingested#native#flowers mid-spring#bees#birds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sophora
    Species:
    affinis
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    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:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    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
    Summer
    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.
  • 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:
    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