Sophora tetraptera J.F.Mill. var. grandiflora

Somewhat variable, frost-hardy, spreading, evergreen tree with pinnate leaves, to 17cm long, composed of up to 20 pairs of ovate leaflets, and racemes, to 6cm long, of 4-10 golden yellow flowers, to 5cm long, with forward-pointing petals, in spring.  Grandiflora has large leaflets and drooping clusters of slightly larger flowers.  To 10m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘It flowers beautifully in the spring, and sometimes the seeds are perfected, by which it is readily increased.’  [LBC no.1162/1827].

‘The magnificent and highly curious species of Sophora here represented, is one of the many plants discovered by Sir Joseph Banks at New-Zealand, where it forms a tree of considerable size.  A finer sight can scarcely be imagined than a tree of this sort, extending to a great breadth on a wall with a western aspect, in the Apothecaries Garden at Chelsea, where it was planted by Mr. Forsyth about the year 1774.  [BM t.167/1791].  This journal, in 1839, figured a plant called Edwardsia Macnabiana with the comment: ‘Some doubt may be entertained whether the present plant is not a seedling variety of E. grandiflora; but it is instantly distinguishable from the ordinary form of that species by its nearly equal petals and by its flowering when in full leaf.’  [BM t.3735/1839].  

History at Camden Park

Possibly obtained from John Bidwill.  Listed in all published catalogues [T.408/1843].


Published Dec 25, 2009 - 05:01 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 02:31 PM

Figured are pinnate leaves, drooping raceme of golden yellow flowers and pod.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.167, 1791.

Sophora tetraptera J.F.Mill. var. grandiflora | BM t.167/1791 | BHL

More details about Sophora tetraptera J.F.Mill. var. grandiflora
Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

New Zealand

  • Edwardsia grandiflora Salisb.
  • Sophora grandiflora (Salisb.) Skottsb. 
Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Edwardsia grandiflora

Confidence level high