En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Problems with Eves necklacepods (Styphnolobium affine)

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - March 25, 2008

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Diseases and Disorders, Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Shrubs
Title: Problems with Eves necklacepods (Styphnolobium affine)
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Mr. S-P, I urgently need your advice regarding two Eve's necklacepods that appear to be dying. They are in two completely different areas of my yard. One began leafing out and then the leaves shriveled. The other has not leafed out, and the stems of both are turning black. They survived last year's monsoons, but I do suspect poor drainage, as they are both on spots that get lots of runoff (although it doesn't puddle there). Could this be the problem? Can they be pruned way back and moved? Do you know what pathogens they might be susceptible to? I use no poisons in my yard.

ANSWER:

You may have managed to stump Mr. Smarty Plants. In the first place, this plant is in our Native Plant Database as Styphnolobium affine (Eve's necklacepod) , but in several other reference materials it was called Sophora affine, thus making it more nearly related to Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel). We know a little more about the Texas Mountain Laurel-that it is very difficult to transplant, with very long roots that are easily damaged, causing the plant to go into shock and die. You didn't say when your plant was put into your garden, or if it was a transplant, but if the same conditions hold for the Eve's necklacepod, that could be causing your problem.

Styphnolobium affine (Eve's necklacepod) must have a well-drained planting spot or it will get chlorotic, indicating an iron deficiency, causing a diseased condition in green plants marked by yellowing or blanching. This USDA Plants Profile shows the counties in Texas where the plant is known to grow; since Pflugerville is in the northern part of Travis County, we can assume that your plants have a right to be there. We also know that Central Texas has the challenge of caliche, clay dirt and lots of rocks, and a very alkaline soil. Alkaline soils can deny the access of the plant to trace elements, such as iron and magnesium, which the plant needs, and thus, chlorosis.

So, we haven't really found the answer to your question or a solution to your problem. You are probably correct that poor drainage and last year's very uncharacteristic rains have caused the problem. One of the best ways to correct these deficiencies is to incorporate humus, as in compost, into the soil. Sadly, it's probably too late to do that for your trees. Right now, watch and wait may be the order of the day. If they do die, replacing them by propagating from seed, and planting them into a well drained spot with lots of organic material might give them a better chance to succeed.


Styphnolobium affine

Styphnolobium affine

Styphnolobium affine

Sophora secundiflora

 

 

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Wildflowers planted in Pittsfield, IL to bloom the first of October
July 01, 2010 - If I plant my wildflower seeds now in Illinois, is it possible they will bloom in three months (by the very beginning of October)?
view the full question and answer

Removal of pods when pruning Tecoma stans
May 10, 2013 - When pruning Tecoma stans for growth and shape control,should I cut off the pods?
view the full question and answer

Germinating Penstemon tenuis, Monarda citriodora and Machaeranthera tanacetifolia Seed
June 03, 2013 - I am a graduate student at Texas Tech (UT Austin alumni), studying horticulture. I will be researching several wildflowers found in west Texas including Penstemon tenuis, Monarda citriodora, and Macha...
view the full question and answer

Too late to begin planting in May in Austin?
April 30, 2008 - Is it too late to begin planting in May? I live in Austin Texas and have finally completed my plans for a native Texas landscaping (plants and grass) of my front yard. I'd like to get the landscapi...
view the full question and answer

Are Eve's Necklace seeds poisonous to dogs from Plano TX
May 09, 2013 - Are the seed pods on eve's necklace poisionous to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center