University of Maryland Extension

Goldenrain Tree, Chinese Flametree

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Text and Photo by Ginny Williams

Koelreuteria bipinnata

Rare is the tree that blooms spectacularly in late summer.  Goldenrain’s fragrant yellow-flowered panicles up to two feet long and 18 inches wide are followed by rosy pink seed capsules that hold color for weeks before browning.  Fall leaf color is yellow.  Dry seed pods can be used in flower arrangements.    At a moderate rate, goldenrain grows about thirty feet tall and twenty feet wide. While it may require watering in dry periods, goldenrain tree grows in any soil and its non-invasive roots allow underplanting.  Remove multiple trunks and space branches evenly along the central leader. Imported from China, it can seed prolifically, so avoid planting it near natural areas.  Use as a street tree or near patios where it gets full sun.  

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