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Toxicity
Seeds of s. Secundiflora are poisonous if ingested

Sophora

Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Deciduous, Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees

Handsome flowering trees with showy, drooping clusters of sweet pea–shaped blossoms. Seed pods are constricted between the seeds, giving them a bead-necklace look. Leaves are divided into many leaflets. Provide good drainage.

Sophora arizonica

Evergreen shrub, native to Arizona. Grows slowly to 3–10 ft. tall and wide. Dark gray-green leaves have five to nine 1/2–1-in.-long leaflets. Clusters of 1–1 1/4-in., purple to lavender flowers in spring are followed by 4–7-in.-long seedpods. Use as an informal hedge or in borders. Takes heat. Tolerates drought but does better with moderate to regular water applied deeply during hot months.

Sophora secundiflora

Evergreen shrub or tree. Native to Texas, New Mexico, and northern Mexico. Grows to 15–25 ft. tall and 10–15 ft. wide; very slow growing, especially in cool-summer regions. Naturally shrubby but can be trained into a tree with a short, slender trunk or multiple trunks, narrow crown, and upright branches. Leaves are divided into seven to nine glossy dark green leaflets. Blooms from midwinter to early spring, bearing sweet-scented violet-blue flowers in drooping, 4–8-in. clusters reminiscent of wisteria. A white-flowered form is occasionally available. ‘Silver Peso’ has silvery foliage. Silvery gray or brown, woody, 1–8-in.-long seedpods open when ripe to show poisonous, bright red, 1/2-in. seeds. If possible, remove pods from plant before they mature. Choice small tree for street, lawn, or patio. If left untrained, makes a good large screen or background hedge. Thrives in heat and alkaline soil. Moderate water.

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