Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Sophora
Species: S. microphylla
S. teraptera
ITIS 26957
Kowhai is a small tree native to New Zealand. There are two species: Sophora microphylla is more common, and has smaller leaves and flowers than Sophora teraptera. Kowhai trees grow throughout the country and are a common feature in New Zealand gardens.

Kowhai grow to around eight metres high and have fairly smooth bark with small leaves. They flower from spring through to early summer with large, bright, horn-shaped, yellow flowers.

Kōwhai is the Maori word for yellow, from the colour of the flowers.