Texas sophora Fabaceae Styphnolobium
affine (Torr. & A. Gray) Walp. symbol: STAF4
Leaf: Alternate, deciduous, pinnately compound, 6 to 10 inches long, 13 to 15 oval leaflets, each to 1 1/2 inches, with entire margins and blunt tips, light green above and below.
Flower: Very showy, white to pink pea-like flowers (1 inch across) in 3 to 5 inch terminal drooping clusters, fragrant appearing late spring to early summer.
Fruit: A very unique black pea-like leathery pod, 2 to 3 inches long, surface fuzzy-white to shiny, resembling dark pearls on a string or sometimes beads together and constricted between seeds, ripens in late summer and persists.
Twig: Moderate, green, buds mostly sunken, 3 bundle scars per leaf scar.
Bark: Red-brown to gray-brown, irregularly ridged and furrowed, ridge tops becoming scaly, older bark very rough.
Form: A shrub or small tree commonly to 20 feet, may reach 35 feet, with an irregular crown. *text and photos courtesy Oana Popescu and Carol Loopstra, Texas A&M
Looks like: Japanese pagoda tree - mescal bean - black locust
Additional Range Information: Styphnolobium affine is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting Texas sophora.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson