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May 26th, 2021

Necklace Pod: A jewel for your landscape

by R.S. Walsh

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 our coastal island environment. 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 this shrub make it a good background plant for your landscape, butterfly or wildlife garden. It will grow to between six 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. This 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 this shrub will bloom throughout the year, it blooms more abundantly in the fall. Beautiful, showy clusters of bright yellow blooms that range from four to 16 inches in length, appear simultaneously with the seed pots lending a lot of interest to this 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.

This column is a joint effort by all at In The Garden, Sanibel’s local garden center, located at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, Florida.

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