Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sophora prostrata 'Little Baby’ is my favorite plant in the garden this week…


It takes a pretty cool plant to overcome a silly name like Sophora prostrata 'Little Baby’ but I think this one manages.

My plant crushes seem to fall into a few distinct groups. There are the marginally hardy exotics, the spiky ones, the big leaves, and the little (barely can be seen) leaves on tiny wiry plants. That last group is where this sophora belongs (Muehlenbeckia astonii and Pittosporum divaricatum being two other examples). Plus I’ve never met a Sophora I didn’t love…

Because this one is so easy to overlook its best situated where your eyes naturally land on it.

One of my plants bloomed last year, but I can’t seem to find a photo of the flower. Luckily it looks like I’ll be enjoying another couple this year…

My first plant came from Cistus, the second was purchased at the 2012 Portland Chinese Garden Plant Sale, but I can’t remember from which nursery! Here’s the Cistus description: “A smallish shrub from New Zealand with narrow wiry stems growing in a zigzag fashion, bearing pretty leaves with tiny leaflets. Golden orange pea flowers are produced late in the season. Best in full sun, lean soil and not much fertilizer. Most we've seen reach 4 ft or so in a Rastafarian tangle. Frost hardy in USDA zone 8, possibly into zone 7.”

And the general stats:
  • Shrub hardy in zones 8 – 11
  • Eventually 4-5 ft tall
  • Likes full sun with poor, well drained soil
  • Yellow/orange flowers in late spring
  • Evergreen (if you look close)…

Why do I love this plant? Because of the yellow gold stems and the geometric shapes they naturally form, the bright green leaves are like small ornaments on those stems.

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

20 comments:

  1. It's a cool plant alright! You have such a talent for placement of tiny treasures like this so that they don't get lost!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you have a talent for flattery!

      Delete
  2. It looks like a great plant - I liked the reference to its "Rastafarian tangle." Reading your post, I'm struck by the fact that you find so many interesting plants suitable to my zone 10b whereas these plants are so hard to come by here! What's up with that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I knew why cool plants are harder to come by in your zone, especially when they would grow there...of course I am a little biased and think we've got some of the best nurseries in the country right here in Oregon. Have you ever thought of mail ordering a few plants?

      Delete
  3. È splendida! Complimenti! Provo sempre una certa gelosia a vedere quante piante possono crescere con il tuo clima :)

    Un saluto.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grazie mille, sono molto fortunato a vivere dove faccio.

      (what I hoped to say was "Thank you so much, I am very lucky to live where I do"...I hope Google translate was good to me)

      Delete
  4. For a few years I was only familiar with Sophora microphylla 'Sun King' until I've seen a selection of Sophoras only a year or so ago. This is one lovely with its habit and delicate foliage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Sophora microphylla 'Sun King' and have been trying to figure out where to put one in my garden. I suppose I should have pointed out the obvious about 'Little Baby' (besides it's stupid name) and that is it's easy to squeeze into just about any garden since it remains fairly small.

      Delete
  5. It is cute! I love the shape of sophora leaves. Our Texas native Sophora secundiflora is my favorite plant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see why that is a beautiful plant!

      Delete
  6. Plants with interesting architecture are the best! Here you've scored another one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that it's sort of subtle too, not a big "in your face" sort of plant.

      Delete
  7. I found my first Sophora a couple years, they're great plants to grow. Reminds me of a mimosa tree, but somewhat tougher. I have S. "Little Baby" at the nursery right now and it's loving the heat of the greenhouse. Have dreams of propagating it since it's nowhere to be found locally. I'm still not gutsy enough to risk mine outdoors, heard too many mixed stories. Maybe once I have more of them. Nice photos, it's a tough one to shoot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes...I guess my plants can be the "canary in the coal mine" (so to speak) as far as winter goes. I sure hope I don't lose them.

      Delete
  8. Dainty is lovely. Most gardens need more Dainty. What a lovely plant!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Can someone help me please. all the leaves on my sophora prostrata are turning pale/brown. is this because of the winter time or recent repotting or ?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have the same problem. I have my 'little baby' indoors. It's fairly light but almost all the leaves have turned yellow and are starting to fall off. What am i doing wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry both Agata Sz. and Christina...I can't help...I've not (thankfully) had any issues with my plants so I'm not sure what to say...

      Delete
    2. It could be infested by mites. Mine got infested. You will know if you can see webs on the branches and leaves. I'm currently fighting them. If someone successfully got rid of them, please share the story. I keep mine indoors.

      Delete
  11. AnonymousJuly 26, 2015

    Dear,
    I would like to buy sophora little baby plants. Can you help me where I can to buy?
    Thank you.
    Imre Feher
    feherimre@bonsaihungary.hu

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!