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Common Name:

Japanese Pagoda Tree

Scientific Name:

Sophora japonica

Family Name:

Fabaceae (Leguminosae)


Japanese Pagoda Tree is widely planted in cooler regions of the US and Europe as an ornamental shade or street tree. It is less frequently planted in southern portions of the US. Plants typically form medium size shade trees with spreading rounded crowns, but with time and under favorable conditions, they may read 50 ft or more in size. The handsome white flowers, dark green leaves, and pleasing growth habit are the main attributes. Fruit can be messy.

Plant Habit or Use:

Tree, small tree, medium tree


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

White, slow to flower, but can be spectacular

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer

Fruit Characteristics:

Numerous pendent transculent green bean-like pods, can be messy


25 ft to 35 ft (70 inch)


25 ft to 35 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Marginally hardy in USDA zone 4 and tend to languish in the heat of USDA zone 8.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.