Japanese pagodatree (Sophora japonica)
Japanese pagodatree was once reserved for planting around temples and at the graves of scholars and other distinguished individuals. Growing 30 to 50 feet tall, it has a nice rounded outline. It is a great specimen tree for the home landscape. An ornamental tree for late summer, it features creamy-white fragrant flowers, borne in 6- to 12-inch pendulous panicles, that adorn the tree in late July and August. The twisted fruits, which resemble pea pods, are also unique: they start out green, turn to yellow and finally age to brown. Glossy olive-green branches and twigs add winter interest. The sophora tree, a native of China and Korea, is highly valued because it flowers in late summer when few trees are in bloom. This tree prefers well-drained soils and is exceptionally tolerant of polluted urban conditions.