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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Koelreuteria (Joseph G. Koelreuter, 1733-1806, professor of natural history at Karlsruhe). Sapindaceae. Ornamental trees, grown for their large panicles of yellow flowers and the handsome compound foliage.

Deciduous: winter-buds small, with 2 outer scales: lvs. alternate, petioled, estipulate, pinnate or bipinnate, with serrate lfts.: fls. in large terminal panicles, yellow, symmetrical; calyx deeply divided into 5 unequal lobes; petals 4, turned upward, lanceolate, clawed, the blade cordate at the base with 2 upturned appendages; disk crenate at the upper margins; stamens 8, sometimes less, with long filaments; ovary superior, 3-celled, style 3-fid at the apex, shorter than stamens: fr. a bladdery, loculicid caps., with papery walls; seeds usually 1 in each cell, roundish, black.— Five species in China and Japan.

The koelreuterias are medium-sized rather sparingly branched round-headed trees with light green pinnately divided leaves and small yellow flowers in large terminal panicles appearing in summer and followed by conspicuous bladder-like pods. K. paniculata is hardy as far north as Massachusetts, though occasionally killed back in severe winters; as a rule it is a short-fived tree. The other species are more tender. They are not particular as to the soil and prefer sunny positions. Propagation is by seeds, which are usually freely produced and sown in autumn or stratified, also by root-cuttings.

K. apiculata, Rehd. & Wilson. Closely allied to K. paniculata. Tree, to 35 ft.: lvs. bipinnate, the pinnae pinnatifid or pinnate at the base, incisely lobed and serrate toward the apex: fr. ovate- oblong, rounded at the apex and apiculate. Cent. China.—K. bipinnata, Franch. Tree, to 60 ft.: lvs. bipinnate with ovate to oblong nearly equally serrate lfts. 1 ½ -4 in. long: fr. globose- ovoid, rounded at the apex. W. China. R.H. 1888, p. 393. Gn. 34, p. 305.—K. henryi, Dommer, from Formosa and K. minor, Hemsl., from S. E. China, are not in cult. Alfred Rehder.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

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Koelreuteria paniculata
Koelreuteria paniculata
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Order: Sapindales
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Family: Sapindaceae
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Koelreuteria bipinnata

Koelreuteria elegans
Koelreuteria paniculata


Koelreuteria is a genus of three species in the family Sapindaceae, native to southern and eastern Asia.

They are medium-sized deciduous trees growing to 10-20 m tall, with spirally arranged pinnate or bipinnate leaves. The flowers are small and yellow, produced in large branched panicles 20-50 cm long. The fruit is a three-lobed inflated papery capsule 3-6 cm long, containing several hard nut-like seeds 5-10 mm diameter.


Koelreuteria trees are commonly used as focal points in landscape design in regions where they thrive.

In some areas, notably parts of eastern North America, they have become invasive species.


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