Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

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

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