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Panicled Goldenraintree Koelreuteria paniculata

Previously known as:

  • Koelreuteria apiculata
  • Koelreuteria japonica
  • Sapindus paniculata
Description

Koelreuteria paniculata is a medium sized deciduous tree that grows 30'-40' high. It is a great urban flowering tree that tolerates drought, heat, wind, and air pollution. It is easily transplanted, soil adaptable, and prefers full sun. It flowers at an early age with and upright display of yellow flowers, a rare color in flowering trees. Its yellow color is inconsistent in the fall.  These summer blooms resemble a fireworks show.  When the blooms are finished and the petals drop to the ground it resembles a "Golden Rain" blanket, hence the common name. Its fruit display is very distinctive, and it is sometimes used in dry arrangements. This small tree tolerates a range of soil types but prefers moist, well-drained soil that is neutral to slightly alkaline.  It has spreading branches but a rounded outline. It works well planted in a lawn or park or near a patio.  This tree has a medium to fast growth rate. This tree is mildly resistant to damage by deer, and is pest and disease free.

Quick ID Hints:

  • 12"-15" long panicle of yellow star-shaped flowers that bloom in mid-summer.
  • Sparsely branched small tree rounded form
  • Fruits are dehiscent, papery, and 3-valved
  • Stems also have prominent, shield-shaped leaf scars. Prominent hairy buds and twigs have orange-brown lenticels
  • Leaves are pinnately compound, 6"-18" long, with 7-15 leaflets
  • Leaflets near the leaf base are deeply lobed

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.  Sometimes suffers from coral spot fungus, root rot,  and cankers.  It reseeds easily and can become weedy.  It tends to have brittle wood so can be damaged in storms or during the winter.

 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Fastigiata'
    Narrow upright 30' tall 6' wide
  • 'September'
    Blooms later August-September but not as cold hardy
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#fall color#shade tree#full sun#heat tolerant#summer#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#weedy#feathery leaves#nectar plant#fall interest#interesting leaves#patio#park#air pollution tolerant#playground#lawn#dried flowers#lawn tree#disease resistant#cpp#wind tolerant#pest resistant#transplant#summer flowers#deer resistant#children's garden#large flowers#urban conditions#pollinator plant#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Fastigiata'
    Narrow upright 30' tall 6' wide
  • 'September'
    Blooms later August-September but not as cold hardy
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#fall color#shade tree#full sun#heat tolerant#summer#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#weedy#feathery leaves#nectar plant#fall interest#interesting leaves#patio#park#air pollution tolerant#playground#lawn#dried flowers#lawn tree#disease resistant#cpp#wind tolerant#pest resistant#transplant#summer flowers#deer resistant#children's garden#large flowers#urban conditions#pollinator plant#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Koelreuteria
    Species:
    paniculata
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China to Korea
    Wildlife Value:
    Nectar from the flowers attracts bees.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Shade
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    1 1/2"-2" long dehiscent, hollow papery 3-valved capsules that look like three-sided balloons or Chinese lanterns changing from yellow to brown and persisting into winter making for a good show. It has hard, pea-sized black seeds inside. The dried capsules work well in flower arrangements.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Large 12"-15" panicles with 1/2" wide yellow, star-shaped flowers with red centers.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Interesting unusually shaped feathery pinnately or bipinnately compound alternate leaves that are 6"-18" long. There are 7-15 leaflets, each one ovate to ovate-oblong, that grow 1"-4" long. Margins are irregularly creanate-serrate on lobes. Leaflets near the base are deeply lobed, giving the leaf the appearance of being bipinnately compound. Leaves are vivid green above, and the veins underneath can be pubescent. New leaves are pinkish bronze to purple and turn green as they mature. Fall color is variable but golden yellow.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    Light gray brown ridged and furrowed with an irregular texture giving ornamental appeal.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
    Stem Leaf Scar Shape:
    Heart or shield shaped
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Stems are light brown, glabrous, and prominent. They have shield-shaped leaf scars and raised, orange-brown, conspicuous leticels. Buds are large and have tufts of hair at the top.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Recreational Play Area
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Specimen
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat
    Pollution
    Urban Conditions
    Wind
    Problems:
    Weedy