Flowering Rain trees - Knowledgebase Question

Lyons, Ne
Avatar for alenapat7
Question by alenapat7
June 27, 2006
My husband bought me and planted two rain trees(they may be chain trees??) How do I tell the difference? There are no flowers as yet and can you tell me when either may bloom?

Thank you!

Answer from NGA
June 27, 2006
Although the terms golden rain and golden chair are sometimes used interchangably, there is a difference. Golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) is a fast-growing, deciduous tree reaching about 30' in height. At maturity, it has a rounded crown, with a spread equal to or greater than the height. It has compound leaves that give it an overall lacy appearance. The leaves turn yellow before falling. The bark is light gray-brown and becomes furrowed with age. Golden rain tree is perhaps most striking in the fall with its large clusters of showy yellow flowers. These are followed by 2" red-purple seed pods, which are equally dramatic. The fruit is a papery three-compartment, bladder-like structure full of seeds.

The Golden Chain Tree (Laburmum vossi) is a low growing all season tree with unusual decorative green bark. In May its long clusters of pure, golden yellow flowers often reach 18" in length with as many as 8 clusters on a twig. Golden Chain Trees do well in either partial shade or full sun, reaching 15 - 20' at maturity.

You may not know for sure which tree you have until it blooms - usually by 3 years of age if planted in full sunshine. Whichever you have, enjoy!

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