Questions? AskAuckland

NZ Plants

Sophora fulvida - Waitakere kōwhai

Pea family: Fabaceae

Sophora fluvida is a small tree often with several trunks at ground level. The fern like leaves are divided into 30-50 pairs of hair-covered leaflets arranged along a central midrib. Unlike other species of Sophora, leaflets lack stalks and the blade of each leaflet is attached directly to the leaf axis. A genus of about 45 species found in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres with eight species endemic to New Zealand.
An endemic species found  in the upper half of the North Island.  All parts of this plant are poisonous, especially the seeds.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: small tree up to 10 m

Arrangement of parts: asymmetric


Flower size: 5-10 mm  diam x 40 mm long

Leaf form: divided into 30-50 pair of leaflets

Sepals:  5

Leaf size: up to 14 cm with 2-7 mm leaflets

Petals:  5, yellow

Leaf arrangement: singly along stem

Sexuality: bisexual

Leaf attachment:

Stamens: 10

Leaf margin: smooth

Ovary: above petals

Leaf surface: hairs

Fruit: dry