Friday, August 24, 2007
Chinese Scholar Tree (Styphnolobium japonicum)
Chinese Scholar Tree
Synonyms: 槐, Japanese Pagoda tree, Sophora japonica
This tree seems to have changed its scientific name recently from Sophora japonica to Styphnolobium japonicum. I didn’t know that until I looked it up. I photographed this tree at the NYBG last weekend. Normally the branches start too high to get an easy photograph of the flowers but this tree had some flowers at eye level. I had never seen the flowers close up and could see that it is in the Pea family, Fabaceae. It is one of the latest flowering trees in this area. There is a 40-foot tall specimen at the farm I am working on and yesterday as I was walking underneath it I heard a mighty humming noise. When I stopped I realized it had about a million bees working the flowers. It is quite a nice tree for the garden as it has a nice shape and the pinnate leaves cast a dappled shade. It is fast growing also. I planted one about 18 years ago and it has grown to about 40 feet already. It appears also to be a very reliable flowerer. It is one of the official trees of the City of Beijing.
One of the great things about taking care of the garden at the farm is all the animals. This is Caleb, aka Stinky, an Aussie that has a bit of the devil in him. Actually he is a nice, smart dog who is fun to have as a buddy.