Golden Rain-tree and Flamegold

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Golden Rain-tree

Koelreuteria paniculata at the United States Capitol Koelreuteria paniculata at the United States Capitol. Takomabibelot - Flickr Image

Photos and Information on Koelreuteria paniculata and Koelreuteria elegans

Easily distinquished from golden rain tree (K. paniculata), flamegold (K. elegans) has twice compound leaves, whereas K. paniculata has single pinnate compound leaves. You can only find flamegold outside in North America growing in south Florida, southern California and Arizona where golden rain tree can grow in most states.

Koelreuteria paniculata grows 30 to 40 feet tall with an equal spread, in a broad, vase or globe-shape. Rain tree is sparingly branched but with a perfect and beautiful density. Golden rain-tree is an excellent yellow flowering tree and a great specimen for the yard. It makes a nice patio tree.

Koelreuteria elegans is a broad-spreading deciduous tree that reaches a height of 35 to 45 feet and eventually takes on a flat-topped, somewhat irregular silhouette. It too is often used as a patio, shade, street, or specimen tree.

A Commemorative tree, this Golden Rain-tree, was planted to honor Nobel Peace Laureate and Green Belt Movement founder Wangari Maathai of Kenya.

Golden rain-tree is a medium to fast growing tree which can reach 10 to 12 feet over a five to seven year period. This interesting and free-flowering small tree should be used more than it is in the landscape. It is an extremely tough plant and often used in large public areas where foliage and flowers are encouraged.

Horticulturist Mike Dirr's habit description - "Beautiful dense tree of regular outline, sparingly branched, the branches spreading and ascending."

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Golden Rain-tree

A Mid-summer Yellow Flower Golden Rain-tree Flower. Let Ideas Compete - Flickr Image

Golden rain-tree is native to China and Korea and related to Flamegold or Koelreuteria elegans which is native to Taiwan and Fiji.

You can easily distinquish Koelreuteria paniculata (golden rain-tree) from Koelreuteria elegans because flamegold has twice compound leaves. Golden rain-tree has single pinnate compound leaves. Koelreuteria paniculata and Koelreuteria elegans are both deciduous trees.

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Flamegold Shape

The Shape of Koelreuteria elegans. Maurogguanandi - Flickr Image

The small, fragrant flowers appear in very showy, dense, terminal panicles in early summer, and are followed in late summer or fall by large clusters of the two-inch-long "Chinese lanterns". Note that these papery husks are held above the foliage and retain their pink color after drying and are very popular for use in everlasting flower arrangements.

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Golden Rain-tree Capsule

Golden Rain-tree Capsules or Pods. Ms.Tea - Flickr Image

The golden rain-tree seed pods look like brown chinese lanterns and are held on the tree well into the fall.

The papery, three-valved capsules change from green to yellow to brown through the summer season. Seeds are hard and black and about the size of small peas. The pod's color change is usually completed between late July and the end of October.

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Koelreuteria elegans Pod

Compare Flamegold Fruit With Golden Rain-tree Koelreuteria elegans Pod. Twoblueday - Flickr Image

Here is a photo of the Koelreuteria elegans' pod. K. elegans has a beautiful, long-lasting capsule as compared to K. paniculata

The papery husks of flamegold are held above the foliage and retain their pink color after drying. Koelreuteria elegans capsules are very popular for use in permanently mounted flower arrangements.

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Your Citation
Nix, Steve. "Golden Rain-tree and Flamegold." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Nix, Steve. (2023, April 5). Golden Rain-tree and Flamegold. Retrieved from Nix, Steve. "Golden Rain-tree and Flamegold." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 29, 2023).