PlantsStyphnolobium→Japanese Pagoda Tree (Styphnolobium japonicum)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Japanese Pagoda Tree
Give a thumbs up Chinese Scholar tree

Botanical names:
Styphnolobium japonicum Accepted
Sophora japonica Synonym

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


Photo gallery:
Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2008-07-20somewhat young specimen as street tree
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Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-10-02immature pods
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Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-07-17bark and trunk
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Location: My brother's garden, BelgiumDate: 2015-08-18
By bonitin
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Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-07-17street trees at bank
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Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-10-02two street trees at bank
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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 18, 2018 12:45 PM

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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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Need help IDing tree (based on stump and leaves) that Power Company cut down by treequestions May 2, 2021 1:18 PM 46
Tree ID help by gmain Jul 28, 2020 2:44 PM 2
I'm Stumped by GrammaChar Dec 1, 2018 6:45 PM 4
Name Change by plantladylin Oct 3, 2018 4:40 PM 2
ID of park tree by pardalinum Oct 3, 2018 4:26 PM 4
mystery tree by shiloh Oct 5, 2016 6:55 PM 6

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