Monday, September 14, 2009

Plant ID

This tree--on Broadway between 77th and 78th St--is one I don't know and can't find in any of the books on trees, including some on New York City trees? It's about two stories high. Attached is a scanned picture of the leaves and the fruit/ or seedpods. Thank you. Anne

The tree is Sophora japonica, Japanese Pagodatree or Scholar Tree. It is a member of the Fabaceae family which includes the peas, as you should be able to tell by the fruit.

In an open area, such as a park, this tree can reach to heights of 70 feet with a dense, rounded, full crown of rich, green leaves; quite an impressive sight. In July to August, creamy white panicles of flowers create a lacy veil over the canopy. The fruit are 8 inch pods that change from pea-green to yellow and brown. The Scholar tree loves well drained soil and is quite adaptable, which is why it was suggested as a city tree.