#75 PAGODA TREE Sophora japonica (a.k.a. SCHOLAR’S TREE)

Purchased from James Smith’s nursery in Derbyshire in November 1914 , this was among the earliest of Mr Hammond’s plantings in his Arboretum.

This deciduous tree flowers in late Summer. The white flowers are pea-like and hang in 30cm panicles, and are said to be fragrant.

The trunk and branches grow with a characteristic slight corkscrew twist.

The tree is native to China but is widely grown in Japan where it can often be found in the grounds of Budist temples. It was introduced into this country from seed in 1753, but is still uncommon.

One of the original specimens is still at Kew, although now horizontal.

Specimen in the Hammond Arboretum

Specimen in Kew Botanical Garden