Eve’s Necklace – Styphnolobium affine

Eve’s necklace is one of my favorite ornamental trees. Unlike it’s close relative, mt. laurel, eve’s necklace is very under utilized in modern landscapes in my opinion. Being a fully native plant, it thrives in Austin and most all of central Texas. Eve’s necklace provides year round interest: bright green new growth, flowers in the spring, beaded seed pods in the fall.

eve's necklace Styphnolobium affinis

The Basics

Eve’s necklace is fast growing as a small tree and will quickly reach a height of 15′, at which point the crown will become more rounded and growth rate will slow. Reportedly, they can reach 35′, but I’ve personally never seen one taller than about 20′ tall. Eve’s necklace will thrive in both full sun and partial shade. It’s a great choice for tight spaces as an ornamental accent and under power lines. The wisteria like flowers come out in mid spring typically in May, but I’ve found their flowering times to be somewhat inconsistent. I’ve seen eve’s necklace flowers as early as April and as late as June. The ensuing seed pods have the appearance of a black beaded necklace that persist into the winter so you get good year round interest. Eve’s necklace is deciduous; the foliage gives a yellow fall color. This tree is native to a very large area from southwestern Oklahoma south to central Texas and east into northwestern Louisiana. Eve’s necklace will grow in our heavy clay soils or on rocky limestone slopes. Once established, eve’s necklace is very drought hardy and requires almost no additional watering to thrive.

Other Details

Like it’s close relative, mt laurel, eve’s necklace seeds reportedly are poisonous if ingested. The flowers can be fragrant and are strong attractors of bees.

Recommendations

Like most smaller sized trees, it is best to plant smaller specimens. 15 gallon container size is a good start. Planting in partial shade is fine, but make sure the plant has plenty of head room and make sure that it receives decent filtered light and some direct sun in the morning or afternoon. If planted in dense shade with little head room, eve’s necklace will have a very wispy growth habit to the point it almost looks like a vine.

4 thoughts on “Eve’s Necklace – Styphnolobium affine”

  1. I have too many Eve’s Necklace trees in my yard. It seems like every time a seed pod drops, it grows. It’s becoming invasive. The branches on the mature trees drop off and they are alarming. Has this been the case with a lot of people? Thanks!

    1. Hi Melinda,

      The Desert Legume Program is a joint project of Boyce Thompson Arboretum and the University of Arizona College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. I am wondering if you are interested in contributing some of your additional seeds from your Eve’s Necklace trees (Styphnolobium affine) to our seed bank. We are will to pay for shipping if you are willing to do that. We will accept the seeds that are still in their pods. Please check our website to learn about our seed bank. Thank you! Kenneth Coppola, Horticultural Specialist, Desert Legume Program 520-647-2460, kcoppola@email.arizona.edu

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