Koelreutaria paniculata – Golden Rain Tree
Botanical Name: Koelreutaria paniculata
Alternate Name: Goldenrain Tree, Goldenraintree
The Golden Rain tree (Koelreutaria paniculata) is an unusual and visually interesting tree, known for it’s beautiful panicles of golden flowers and sculptural seed pods. It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree with an open growth habit and an attractive, irregularly rounded crown that can grow as wide as it does tall. This tree originates in Asia – Northern China, Korea, and Japan. It grows to a height of 30-40 feet with a spread of 30-40 feet.
The leaves of the Golden Rain tree emerge in the spring with attractive, purple tinged, bronze new growth. The foliage then matures to a bright green as the growing season progresses. In fall, the tree puts on a brilliant golden yellow display. The leaves are pinnately or bipinnately compound, with irregularly shaped, elliptical leaflets and coarsely toothed margins. Each leaf features 7-17 leaflets.
The flowers are stunning and cover the canopy in mid summer. The individual flowers are half an inch in size and make up showy panicles, 12-15 inches long. As the name suggests, the blooms then fall like ‘golden rain’ from the tree to make a bright yellow carpet on the sidewalk or landscape. Wonderful bright green seed pods that mature to bronze follow the flowers, providing another spectacle later in the season.
The Golden Rain tree thrives in full sun and is adaptable to different environmental conditions and soil types, preferring dry to moderate conditions. This tree can tolerate urban conditions and pollution and is a suitable size to plant as a street tree.