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We were in La Rochelle, France, in 2010 when we saw this tree. I have never been able to identify it and I wonder if anyone there can give me an answer.
We are going back to La Rochelle for a few days in September and it would be nice to view it again with the benefit of an ID.
It is a Japanese pagode tree, Styphnolobium japonicum (until recently called Sophora japonica)
Now you can call your old acquaintance by name; so much more friendly.
Thanks Mike. We were indeed surprised that it was in flower fairly late in the summer and were impressed by its size.
I shall point out to it that it can't hide from the gurus at NHM!