This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Sophora Tetraptera. Winged-Podded Sophora.
Calyx 5-dentatus, superne gibbus. Cor. papilionacea: alis-longitudine vexilli. Legumen.
SOPHORA tetraptera foliis pinnatis foliolis numerosis (17 - 19) lanceolato-oblongis villosiusculis: leguminibus membranaceo-quadrangulis, caule arboreo. Ait. Hort. Kew. p. 43.
SOPHORA tetraptera. Job. Miller ic. tab. 1.
The magnificent and highly curious species of Sophora here represented, is one of the many plants discovered by Sir Joseph Banks at New-Zealand, where it forms a tree of a considerable size.
A finer sight can scarcely be imagined than a tree of this sort, extending to a great breadth on a wall with a western aspect, in the Apothecaries Garden at Chelsea, where it was planted by Mr. Forsyth about the year 1774, and which at this moment (April 28, 1791) is thickly covered with large pendulous branches of yellow, I had almost said golden flowers; for they have a peculiar richness, which it is impossible to represent in colouring; in the winter care is taken to cover it carefully with mats, least it should suffer from any extraordinarily severe weather.
It usually produces a few seed vessels of an uncommon form, having four wings, whence its name of tetraptera; from some of the seeds which have ripened in this country plants have been raised, and by these the plant is found to be propagated with the most success; it may also be increased by cuttings and layers.