Софора (лат. Sophora) — род растений из семейства бобовых.
Kowhai is a small woody legume tree native to New Zealand. There are eight species. Sophora microphylla is the most common, and has smaller leaves and flowers than Sophora tetraptera. Kowhai trees grow throughout the country and are a common feature in New Zealand gardens. Kowhai tree in full bloom, before foliage has emerged.
Most species of Kowhai grow to around 8 m high and have fairly smooth bark with small leaves. They have horn-shaped yellow flowers, which appear in early spring. Their nectar is a favourite food for Tui, Bellbird and Kererū (New Zealand Wood Pigeon). The very distinctive almost segmented pods, which appear after flowering, each contain six or more smooth, hard, yellow seeds. These seeds can be very numerous and the presence of many hundreds of these ditinctively yellow seeds on the ground quickly identifies the presence of a nearby Kowhai tree. Unusually for New Zealand plants, some species of Kowhai are deciduous, losing their tiny, dull green leaves each winter. Many other Kowhai trees lose most of their leaves immediately after flowering in October or November but quickly produce new leaves.
Kowhai trees are relatively easy to grow if the seed is first immersed in boiling water or is chitted prior to sowing. Outside of New Zealand, Kowhais tend to be restricted to mild temperate maritime climates.
Sophora prostrata, sometimes called "Little Baby", is used as a Bonsai tree. It grows to the height of up to 2 meters, has zigzaging stems, and smallish leaves quite sparsely in the tree.
Kōwhai is the Maori word for yellow, from the colour of the flowers. The Kowhai is the national flower of New Zealand. Sophora is one of the four genera of native legumes in New Zealand, the other three are Carmichaelia, Clianthus, and Montigena.
• Sophora cassioides, Sophora fernandeziana, Sophora macrocarpa, Sophora masafuerana, Sophora toromiro - Остров Пасхи, Чили
• Софора золотистолистная - Sophora chrysophylla - Гавайи
• Софора мелколистная - Sophora microphylla - Новая Зеландия, Sophora chathamica - Чатем (архипелаг)
• Софора лисохвостная - Sophora alopecuroides = Вексибия лисохвостная - Vexibia alopecuroides - Монголия
• Софора желтоватая -Sophora flavescens - Сибирь
• Sophora lehmannii = Ammothamnus lehmannii - Таджикистан, Туркмения, Узбекистан
• Софора толстоплодная - Sophora pachycarpa - Иран, Казахстан, Киргизия
• Софора виколистная - Sophora vicifolia - Китай
Изображено на монетах:
Новая Зеландия, 2 цента, 1967-85