Sophora davidii
Common Name: sophora 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: China
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Pale blue to white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant


Best grown in rich, medium moisture, well-drained sandy loams in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. Once established, plants are tolerant of heat and some drought.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sophora davidii is a spiny, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub that is native to southwestern China. It typically grows to 6-8' tall. Pinnate compound leaves (to 4" long), each with 11 to 19 small elliptic blue-green leaflets (to 3/8" long), are attractive throughout the growing season. Small, fragrant, pea-like, pale blue/white flowers in 6" terminal racemes (6-12 flowers each) bloom in late spring. Flowers give way to seed pods (1 to 4 seeds each) that mature to brown. Older wood is moderately spiny. Synonymous with and formerly known as Sophora viciifolia. This shrub was discovered growing in western China during the period of 1862-1874 by Jean Pierre Armand David (1826-1900), Jesuit missionary.

Genus name comes from the Arabic name.

Specific epithet honors Jean Pierre Armand David (1826-1900), Jesuit missionary in China.


No serious insect or disease problems. Twig blight, verticillium wilt, canker, powdery mildew and rust may occur.


Small landscape shrub.