Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Hardy Plants for Waterwise Landscapes

Styphnolobium japonicum (Sophora japonica)
Japanese pagoda tree or Scholar tree

Styphnolobium japonicum form (V. Lohr)

Plant form

Spreading or rounded, deciduous shade tree with summer flowers.


60 to 75 feet tall, and 75 to 100 feet wide.

Leaves and stems

Compound leaves with small leaflets. Medium to dark green, with yellowish fall color. Green stems.


Tree is covered with creamy white flowers in late summer. Flowers are shaped like flowers of pea plants and have a faint fragrance.

Native area

Korea and Japan.

Water use

Moderate or low.


Full sun or light shade.

Culture and maintenance

This tree is tolerant of a wide range of conditions. Branches may break in ice storms, unless properly pruned for strong branch attachments.


USDA Zone 5-8.


'Regent' is a popular cultivar that was selected to flower at a young age.


Young trees don't bloom. Branches on young trees may be damaged during cold winters, but older trees don't show this problem.
Styphnolobium japonicum (V. Lohr)


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