Goldenrain Tree


Koelreuteria paniculata

Leaves: Deciduous. Pinnately compound leaves. Usually, one "leaf" is 6-18” long and composed of 7 to 15 leaflets along one leaf stem (petiole). Leaflets are 1-4” long, toothed and have a variety of deep-cut lobes. Leaf edges are roughly serrate. Medium green color. Fall color is yellow to yellow-orange.

Bark/Twigs: Light gray-brown colored bark.  Ridged on older trunks.

Flowers/Fruit: Flowers are bright yellow in large, long panicle clusters. Each flower is ½” wide and grows in a large loose cluster 12-15” long and wide. Blooms in late June to early July. Fruit is a papery three-part capsule, 1 ½- 2” long with 3 hard black, glossy, pea-sized seeds. The papery capsules are green at first, changing to brown and resemble small, heart-shaped Chinese lanterns. Capsules persist through the winter.

Mature size and shape: Medium. 20-40’h x 25-40’w. Usually somewhat smaller in Utah. Rounded to spreading dense crown. The long leaves give the branch ends a slightly pendulous look.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun. Widely adaptable to various soil conditions. Tolerates heat and drought.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Good medium shade tree known for its bright yellow spring flowers. Can be used as a street tree. Medium to fast growing rate. High maintenance. Transplants well, but best moved as a small tree. Prune during winter.

USDA Hardiness Zone:  5-9

Family/Origin: Sapindaceae – Soapberry. Native to China, Japan, and Korea.

Campus use: Common. Can be found south of the Park Building (Bld 1) and south of Student Services (Bld 40).