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Sophora tetraptera

Kowhai

Garden

Wishlist

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Features

  • BloomsMay
  • Height7m to 10m
  • Spread4m to 6m
  • Growth HabitUpright hemi-spherical
  • Flower ColourYellow
  • Leaf ColourGrey green
  • AwardsRHS Garden Merit

Description

Sophora tetraptera (Kowhai). This is a free-flowering evergreen, small tree. It may grow to about 9m tall and has a semi-pendulous habit, with branches somewhat interlocked. The leaves consist of 20 to 30 pairs of small, grey-green leaflets. The flowers are pea-shaped and about 35mm long, that are pale to golden yellow and are borne in showy pendulous clusters. The fruit are narrow pods that ripen to dark grey.

Characteristics

Perennial, Evergreen, Shrub or Tree

Origin

New Zealand

Interest and use

Specimen

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Needs

  • LightFull sun
  • HardinessFrost hardy (min -5°C)
  • SoilHeavy, Well drained, Light, Medium
  • Soil pH7.0 to 9.0
  • WaterMoist

Cultivation

These are generally adaptable plants that thrive under a wide range of conditions. They will prefer moist, well-drained soil in sun or partial-shade. You can propagate from seeds or cuttings.

Propagation

Seed in autumn; semi-evergreens may also be raised from softwood cuttings in summer.

Pests, diseases or disorders

In Australia and New Zealand caterpillars of the kowhai moth can defoliate plants in summer.

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