Koelreuteria paniculata - Goldenraintree
Family: Sapindaceae

Hear the scientific name

Koelreuteria paniculata is a mid-summer, yellow-flowering, urban tolerant ornamental tree. Goldenraintree is known for its shade, flowering, and dry fruit appeal. It also has a rounded growth habit to 30' tall x 30' wide also making it a good street tree.

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  form2 form Form

-medium-sized ornamental tree or shade tree

-maturing at about 30' tall x 30' wide

-upright rounded growth habit, becoming more spreading with age

-rapid growth rate

foliage Foliage

-alternate, pinnately to bipinnately compound, emerging bronzed and quickly maturing to medium then dark green, with about 7-15 leaflets, with each leaflet crenate and sometimes lobed at the base

-often exhibits poor autumn color, usually yellowish green to green, but is golden yellow in good years


-one of the few trees to flower in mid-summer, during early July

-many green-yellow to bright yellow small flowers combine to form a foot-long large and showy inflorescence (a panicle in this case, hence the specific epithet), with the individual flowers not opening all at once and having a prolonged 2-week bloom period

-inflorescences are very attractive and exhibit a good contrast against the green foliage or blue sky


-clusters of lime-colored three-sided pods form in summer, and slowly change to beige then mature to medium brown by autumn, lasting throughout the winter and persisting into the following spring, with each pod containing 1-3 round black seeds


-light brown, somewhat zigzag, with prominent leaf scars and lenticels, but with no terminal bud

trunk Trunk

-single-trunked or multi-trunked, but quickly losing its central leader(s) to yield an asymmetrical or irregular growth habit in youth, becoming rounded with age

-bark is light brown, ridged, and furrowed with age

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-full sun to partial sun

-performs best in full sun in moist, rich, deep, well-drained soils, but is adaptable to poor soils, compacted soils, various soil pHs, pollution, heat, drought, and urban stress in general

-propagated by seeds or cuttings taken from roots

-Soapberry Family, with occasional trunk canker, but otherwise no serious disease or pest problems

-moderately available in B&B or container form

-Goldenraintree is extremely sensitive to being transplanted in autumn, and care should be taken to amend the soil, fertilize, water thoroughly, mulch adequately, and avoid winter salt spray, to enhance survival chances during the first winter, if transplanting cannot be delayed until spring

-young trees (especially those recently transplanted) are sensitive to dieback or death in severe winters, especially in its northern limit of zone 5, while established trees are much more winter hardy


-zones 5 to 9


-native to the Orient

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-early July showy yellow inflorescences and

ornamental fruit pods in late summer, autumn, and winter

-good street tree based upon mature size, ornamental appeal, and moderate shade, although its gangly appearance while young and non-flowering may be an initial drawback

-rapid growth rate

-urban tolerance


-straggly appearance in youth, often having a leaning or asymmetrical growth of the few stems until interior and side branches fill out to give it a more symmetrical, rounded shape with maturity

-young trees may exhibit dieback or be marginally hardy in harsh winters, especially in zone 5


-specimen, small shade, focal point, or street tree


-medium texture in foliage and bold texture when bare

-thick density in foliage and open density when bare

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-summer flowering trees (Albizia julibrissin, Lagerstroemia indica, Styphnolobium japonium, etc.)

-urban tolerant trees (Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Gleditsia triacanthos, Ulmus 'Urban', etc.)

-street trees (Acer campestre, Malus cultivars, Tilia cordata, etc.)


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