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Sophora davidii is often confused with:
Wisteria frutescens Growth habit
Native alternative(s) for Sophora davidii:
Chionanthus virginicus Flowering branch
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Ptelea trifoliata Small tree in the landscape.
Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet' flowers and leaves in summer in Moore County
Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum Mature habit

Sophora davidii

Previously known as:

  • Sophora viciifolia
Phonetic Spelling
sah-FOR-ah duh-VID-ee-eye
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

David's mountain laurel, is a spiny, deciduous shrub in the Fabaceae (bean) family native to southwestern China and typically grows to 6 to 8 feet in length and width.   The genus name Sophora is Arabic and the species name davidii is in reference to Jesuit missionary ean Pierre Armand David (1826-1900).

It grows best in rich soil or well-drained sandy loam, with medium moisture, in full sun or partial shade. It also does well in clay soil, but it will not grow in the shade. In spring, it displays small, fragrant ,and showy blue and white blossoms that are more prolific if the plant is sited in full sun and protected from cold winds. The plant's foliage is also quite attractive. Once mature, the plant tolerates heat and some drought.  Propagate the plant by scarifying the seeds.

The thick dense canopy of leathery leaves and spiny branches makes it ideal for use as a hedge or security plant in the landscape.  This low-maintenance shrub is noted for its ability to fix nitrogen within the plant.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems. Twig blight, verticillium wilt, canker, powdery mildew, and rust may occur.  The seeds are poisonous.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#poisonous#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#white flowers#shrub#deciduous shrub#blue flowers#low maintenance#security plant#hedges#blue-green leaves#spines#flowers late spring#flowers early summer
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#poisonous#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#white flowers#shrub#deciduous shrub#blue flowers#low maintenance#security plant#hedges#blue-green leaves#spines#flowers late spring#flowers early summer
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sophora
    Species:
    davidii
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southwestern China
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    heat tolerant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Appendage:
    Spines
  • 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
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Description:
    Seed pods (1 to 4 seeds each) mature from green to brown
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Fragrant, pea-like, pale blue and white flowers in 6 inch terminal racemes (of 6 to 12 3/4 inch flowers each) bloom in May and June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Pinnate compound leaves to 4 inches long, each with 11 to 19 small elliptic blue-green leaflets (to 3/8 inches long), are attractive throughout the growing season.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Multiple stems. Spiney when mature.
  • Landscape:
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Security
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Spines/Thorns
  • 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