T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Sophora tetraptera (Large-leaved kowhai)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(unranked):        Angiosperms
(unranked):        Eudicots
(unranked):        Rosids
Order:       Fabales
Family:      Fabaceae
Subfamily:  Faboideae
Tribe:          Sophoreae
Genus:      Sophora
Species:     S. tetraptera
Binomial name: Sophora tetraptera
Synonyms:  Edwardsia grandiflora, Edwardsia tetraptera
Common name: Large-leaved kowhai, Kowhai, Wing-podded sophora

Sophora tetraptera is a dicotyledonous endemic tree that sometimes has several trunks. It can grow up to 15 m tall. It is naturally occurring in the eastern North Island from East Cape south to the Wairarapa, extending west toward Taihape, LakeTaupo and along the WaikatoRiver to about LakeKarapiro.
S. tetraptera has larger more widely spaced leaves than the seven other species of kōwhai. The leaves are very large and wide grey-green are up to 220 mm long. The greyish-green leaflets are up to 40mm long and are widely spaced. 
Sophora tetraptera is a late flowering kōwhai developing bunches of drooping golden-yellow flowers during October-December. After flowering it develops dry ridged and knobbly seed pods (100-280mm long) that contain hard yellow seeds.

   









Sophora tetraptera juvenile plants are not divaricating.