G6800 Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees | Page 13 | University of Missouri Extension

Revised June 2008

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Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees

Japanese pagoda tree (Sophora japonica)

Medium-sized trees

Japanese pagoda tree

  • Maximum height
    40 feet
  • Relative growth rate
  • Freedom from insect pests
  • Freedom from disease problems
  • Resistance to storm damage
  • Will grow on poorly drained soil
  • Will grow in hot, dry areas
  • Easy to transplant
  • Withstands city conditions

This tree gets its common name from the fact that it was commonly planted around Buddhist temples in Asia. It is also known as the scholar tree or simply as Sophora. Its large clusters of pealike flowers are not especially showy, but they are interesting because they appear in late summer after other trees have already flowered. The yellow seed pods usually hang on the tree until after it has lost its leaves in the fall.

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