The Q&A Archives: Germinating Seeds for Panicled Goldenraintree (Varnish Tree)

Question: I collected seeds from a tree that I was told was a "rain tree". I am looking from growth, care information. In the fall it had large clusters of pods similar to Chinese lanterns. They were a greenish cream color and pink and became darker as they aged. Then they turned brownish. They are very pretty dried in the pink stage. I found information on the Golden Rain Tree which sounded like it was in the same family. Mona Whitten Sumner, MS

Answer: Your mystery tree is either Koelreuteria paniculata or Kolereuteria bipinnata...more likely it is the latter. Common names are Panicled Goldenraintree or Varnish Tree. The seeds have an impermeable seed coat and must be niched. You do this by filing a spot on the seed until you see a change in color (that is an indication that you have reached the inner part of the seed) STOP! Do this on the end opposite the spot where the seed was attached to the fruit, then sow the seed. Some seeds need a period of cold after you've niched put them in a little slightly damp vermiculite, put in an air-tight container and put in the frig for 90 days. Then sow. Try the first way. Remove those seeds that germinate and pop the rest in the frig as indicated above. The trees like full sun. The latin name is pronounced "coal-rue-tee'ri-a buy-pi-nay'-ta"!! Good Luck!

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