This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Trees or shrubs, rarely herbs. Leaves imparipinnate. Flowers white, yellow, or bluish violet, in simple terminal racemes or panicles. Pods roundish or 4-winged, moniliform, fleshy or coriaceous. Natives of the warmer regions. Sophora is the Arabic name of a leguminous tree.
1. S. Japonica. - A large deciduous tree with elegant pinnated leaves composed of 9 to 11 dark green leaflets. Flowers comparatively small, dirty white. The variety pendula (fig. 77) is one of the handsomest of weeping trees. The figure here given was taken in winter, to show the habit with greater precision. A native of Japan and China.
Fig. 77. Sophora Japonica.
There are two or three hardy herbaceous species, suitable only for larger collections : - S. alopecuroides, about 3 feet high, with terminal racemes of yellow flowers, from Asia Minor; S.galegoides and S. flavescens, both yellow-flowered species from Siberia.
The genus Edwardsia is usually incorporated with this. E. grandiflora or, as it should be here termed, Sophora tetra-ptera, is a small tree or bush from New Zealand, very variable in size, foliage and flowers, the extreme forms having been described as distinct species. The leaflets are small, and usually very numerous, and the flowers conspicuous, bright yellow, in pendulous racemes. The pod is 4-winged, and constricted between the seeds. This requires a wall and extra protection in severe weather.