This is another of the hidden treasure trees on campus, like the Flowering Dogwood by Allen. For you gardeners, this is a zone 5A tree. Translated-shouldn’t do as well as it is doing this far north. It does suffer twig dieback in the spring, this may be from the cold, or may be from a twig blight. Either way, it does not seem to affect the flowering at all, as it has bloomed consistently for the 3 years I’ve been here.
Most books state the tree will get 60-75′ tall, but this would be surprising this far north. Remarkably tolerant of harsh urban conditions, this makes a great street tree. Native to China, it is extensively planted around temples in both China and Japan, prized for it’s late summer flowers. A member of the pea family, Fabaceae, it cannot fix nitrogen from the air like other legumes.
Looking up this tree in Wikipedia, I learned of the Guilty Chinese Scholartree, a famous tree in Beijing where the last Ming Chongzhen Emperor hung himself in 1644 after allowing the Forbidden City to be stormed by peasants.