In The Garden: A jewel for your landscape
Necklace pod (Sophora tomentosa) is a wonderful evergreen and flowering plant, which has a high tolerance for salt and low water requirements making it ideal for coastal island environments. Necklace pods can be found throughout the world on island beaches and make an inviting environment for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and warblers by providing food and shelter.
The growth habits of the shrub make it a good background plant for your landscape, butterfly or wildlife garden. It will grow to between 6 feet and 10 feet in height and about the same in width, likes full sun to light shade and will tolerate poor soil conditions. However, adding some organic matter to the soil will help it thrive. The evergreen shrub produces leaves that are a soft green turning to darker green as they mature in an alternating pattern on the stems, giving it a fragile appearance that belies its toughness in standing up to the coastal environment.
While the shrub will bloom throughout the year, it blooms more abundantly in the fall. Beautiful showy clusters of bright yellow blooms that range from 4 inches to 16 inches in length, appear simultaneously with the seed pots lending a lot of interest to the plant. The necklace pod derives its name from the connected seed pods that look like beads on a necklace.
Invite this wonderful shrub into your garden, prune it occasionally, don’t overwater it and it will produce beautiful interest in your landscape for years to come.
In The Garden is a joint effort by all at the local garden center, at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel. For information, contact 239-395-5859 or visit www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden.