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Yellow necklacepod
Sophora tomentosa var. truncata
Fabaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen shrub along the coast. Also buffer plantings.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Medium to large shrub with an irregular rounded crown. Trunks short, bearing several arching stems. Bark yellowish-brown, roughend by lenticels. Leaves glossy dark green, shiny above, slighly hairy when young then becoming glabrous.
Dimensions:
Typically 8-10 feet in height. About as broad as tall.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Monroe County Keys north to Brevard and Levy counties; Mexico, Central America and South America.
Habitats:
Edges of coastal forests and thickets.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer; rarely on peat on tree islands in the southern Everglades.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Yellow.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy, in long, racemose, terminal spikes.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Yellowish-brown beaded pods (legumes), 2-6" long.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides food and shelter for wildlife. Nectar plant for hummingbirds and butterflies. The flowers also attract warblers and bees.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed. Care must now be taken to avoid pollination by S. tomentosa var. occidentalis (see below).
Comments:
The very hairy, commonly sold necklacepod is S. tomentosa var. occidentalis from the West Indies. The seeds are toxic if eaten.


 


Roger L. Hammer
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton