General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 30 to 70 feet
Plant Spread: 30 to 50 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Other: green to brown pods 3 to 8 inches long
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Summer
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Pollinators: Bees
Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Common names
  • Japanese Pagoda Tree
  • Chinese Scholar tree
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Styphnolobium japonicum
  • Synonym: Sophora japonica

  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 18, 2018 12:45 PM concerning plant:
    This Japanese or Chinese Pagodatree or Scholar-tree is actually native to China and Korea. It is a fast growing tree of 2 to 3 feet/year that is similar to the American Black Locust. The alternate leaves are 6 to 10 inches long with 7 to 17 opposite leaflets that only get a poor yellowish-green fall color. It bears creamy-white, mildly fragrant pea-like flowers in 6 to 12 inch long panicle clusters in July into August. The fruit is 3 to 8 inch long pods, constricted between the seed, that begin green to yellowish to finally brown. It suffers some from cankers, powdery mildew, and leaf hoppers. Its gray-brown bark is very plain. When it is a young tree it looks good for some years, but in time it gets more unkempt. It is a weak-wooded and messy tree by dropping lots of twigs and branches and pods, the latter often staining sidewalks green. There are a lot of this species planted in street wells and in parkways along the streets of Philadelphia, PA, and its suburbs; sometimes it is a lawn tree. I have not really seen it in my native Chicago, Illinois area, but there is one nursery listed as selling it in the Ornamental Growers Association of Northern Illinois nursery guide. I thought for years it had a Zone 6 hardiness.

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