Sophora affinis Torr. & Gray

  • Family: Fabaceae (legumes)
  • Common names: Eve's necklace, coralbean, Texas sophora

    Shrub or small tree to 5 m (15 ft) tall and 10 cm (4 in) diameter with rounded dense crown. Bark thin, scaly, red-brown. Twigs thin, brown, hairy when young, swollen at nodes. Buds very small, hairy, brown, almost covered by base of leafstalk, no terminal bud. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 15-23 cm (6-9 in) long. Leaflets usually 13-19, elliptical, short-stalked, entire, 2-4 cm (0.8-1.6 in) long, gray-hairy when young, usually becoming glabrous, yellowish-green above, pale green below. Flowers numerous in lateral racemes 5-10 cm (2-4 in) long, about 13 mm (0.5 in) long, white or pinkish, blooming in early Spring. Fruits black leathery legumes 2.5-10 cm (1-4 in) long, with long narrow point at ends, strongly constricted between the seeds (resembling a string of beads), maturing in the Fall and remaining attached until Spring.

    Distribution: Northwestern Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas, central Texas, to southern Oklahoma.
    Habitat: Floodplain forests, limestone hills.
    NWI status: none
    Comment: Sometimes planted as an ornamental. The seeds may be poisonous. Sophora is derived from an old Arabic word for some leguminous tree; affinis means "related to", probably in reference to the genus name.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/20/99
    Go to Oklahoma Biological Survey Home Page