Pagoda tree

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Pagoda tree Styphnolobium japonicum


Flower of pagoda tree Sophora japonica

A medium sized tree, Styphnolobium japonicum, native to Japan, China and India. The Japanese pagoda tree is considered one of the best trees for bonsai. Also, a yellow-green dye, Waifa green, is produced by dipping Alum mordanted Cotton in the flower extract then drying the cloth in the sun.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Japanese pagoda tree (Sophora japonica; Styphnolobium japonicum); waifa; enjo (Jap.)

EEM color

Pagoda tree color.PNG

EEM line

Pagoda tree line.PNG

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Broad spreading tree growing to 10-20 m
  • Bark = grayish or reddish brown with vertical furrows
  • Leaves = alternate pinnate
  • Flower = creamy white, hanging clusters
  • Fruit = Green pod containing pearl-like seeds

Additional Images

Resources and Citations

  • F. Crace-Calvert, Dyeing and Calico Printing, Palmer & Howe, London, 1876 Comment: p. 304
  • Virginia Tech Dendrology website at (accessed Oct. 8, 2005)