Golden-rain Tree

By: C. Colston Burrell
Golden-chain tree is a small tree with clusters of yellow flowers. Learn about growing, propagating, and using golden-chain tree at HowStuffWorks.

Golden-rain tree is a 40-foot-tall tree of Asian origin. This tree is justly popular since it is one of the few yellow-flowered trees. It is doubly interesting because it blooms in summer, when most other trees only have foliage to show.

Description of golden-rain tree: The golden-rain tree forms a regular, rounded outline on a short trunk. The deciduous leaves are bright green and bipinnately lobed, with irregular but often deeply lobed leaflets. The fall color is an attractive yellow but is not consistent in all years. Its yellow flowers are borne in tall, wide panicles at the ends of the branches in early summer. They are followed by attractive, bladderlike, yellow to brown pods.


Growing golden-rain tree: This tree prefers full sun and tolerates a wide range of soils, even dry ones. It is best transplanted while still young. The golden-rain tree is resistant to air pollution and does well on crowded urban boulevards.

Uses for golden-rain tree: This tree is a good choice as a specimen plant for medium-size gardens. It makes a good street or shade tree where space is limited.

Related species of golden-rain tree: K. bipinnata is a coarser plant with large flowers trusses that is not invasive.

Related varieties of golden-rain tree: Fastigiata has a narrowly upright growth pattern.

Scientific name for golden-rain tree: Koelreuteria paniculata

Caution: This tree is invasive in parts of the East and Midwest.


Want more information on trees and gardening? Try:

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  • Flowering Trees: Many trees offer seasonal blooms that will delight any visitor your yard or garden.
  • Types of Trees: Looking for fresh ideas about what to plant? Find out about different species that can turn your yard into a verdant oasis.
  • Gardening: Get great tips about how to keep your garden healthy and thriving.