Sophora microphylla Aiton


Tree to 10 m tall with spreading or arching branches. New growth with yellowish hair. Leaves to 15 cm long. Leaflets in 20-40 pairs, obovate or oblong, each 5-7 mm long. Flowers to 4.5 cm long in clusters of 4-10, pale to deep yellow. Fruit pods to 15 cm long, containing 6 or more seeds.

This is the most widespread of the New Zealand sophoras; it is a plant of riverbanks, forest edges and open spaces of the N and S Islands and Chatham Island.

Two botanical varieties are recognised. S. longicarinata G. Simpson & J.S. Thompson has been reinstated as a species on the grounds that it flowers later and has more numerous, smaller and darker-coloured leaflets than S. microphylla (Heenan et al., 2001).

New Zealand, Chile, Gough Island.

VIC: Kyneton (Bot. Gds); Hawthorn (Central Gds, 2 trees).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Fabaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Fabales
family       Fabaceae
genus        Sophora L.