Japanese Pagoda Tree

Styphnolobium japonicum

Styphnolobium japonicum is commonly called the Japanese Pagoda Tree, but is also known as Chinese scholar tree or simply Pagoda tree. It is native to China and introduced very early to Japan and is a popular ornamental tree in southern Africa, North America and Europe. It is grown for its white flowers which appear as long panicles in late summer after other trees have finished flowering. It can grow as tall as 20 meters.

It is suited to our area as it likes sunny positions and chalky soils.

Funky Facts File: The ‘Guilty Chines Scholartree’ was a pagoda tree in Beijing from which the last emperor of the Ming dynasty (Chongzhen) hanged himself! Ironically, it is one of the ‘fifty fundamental herbs’ used in Chinese traditional medicine. Its dark hard wood has many uses and is used for the handles of the traditional Japanese woodworking adze, the ‘chouna’.

© Jean-Pol Grandmont Wikimedia Commons
© Père Igor Wikimedia Commons