|Koelreuteria paniculata subsp. var.||Goldenrain tree|
The leaves are pinnate, 15-40 cm (rarely to 50 cm) long, with 7-15 leaflets 3-8 cm long, with a deeply serrated margin; the larger leaflets at the mid-point of the leaf are sometimes themselves pinnate but the leaves are not consistently fully bipinnate as in the related Koelreuteria bipinnata.
The flowers are yellow, with four petals, growing in large terminal panicles 20-40 cm long. The fruit is a three-parted inflated bladderlike pod 3-6 cm long and 2-4 cm broad, green ripening orange to pink in autumn, containing several dark brown to black seeds 5-8 mm diameter.
There are two varieties:
- Koelreuteria paniculata var. paniculata. Northern China and Korea. Leaves single-pinnate.
- Koelreuteria paniculata var. apiculata (Rehder & E.H.Wilson) Rehder (syn. K. apiculata). Western China (Sichuan), intergrading with var. paniculata in central China. Leaves with larger leaflets commonly bipinnate.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Koelreuteria paniculata, Laxm. (Sapindus chinensis, Linn.). Tree, to 30 ft.: lvs. pinnate or sometimes bipinnate, to 14 in. long; lfts. 7-15, ovate to oblong- ovate, coarsely and irregularly crenate-serrate, at the base often incisely lobed, glabrous above, pubescent on the veins below or nearly glabrous, 1-3 ½ in. long: fls. yellow, ½ in. long, in broad panicles to 18 in. long; filaments hairy: caps, ovate-oblong, gradually narrowed into the pointed apex, 1 ½ -2 in. long. July, Aug.; fr. in Sept. China, Korea, Japan. — It is often cult, in the Cent. W., Kans., Mo., and southward, as an ornamental tree, as it stands drought and hot winds well. It is there popularly known as "pride of India" or "China tree," but the first name belongs properly to Melia Azedarach and the second to Sapindus; it is also sometimes called "varnish tree," but the true varnish tree is Rhus verniciflua.—K. japonica, Sieb., is scarcely different; it is said to differ in its more deeply serrate lvs. and smaller fr.
It is popularly grown as an ornamental tree in temperate regions all across the world because of the aesthetic appeal of its flowers, leaves and seed pods. Several cultivars have been selected for garden planting, including 'Fastigiata' with a narrow crown, and 'September Gold', flowering in late summer.
The seeds are edible when roasted, but not commonly consumed.
Pests and diseases
- Plants for a Future: Koelreuteria paniculata
- Koelreuteria paniculata images at bioimages.vanderbilt.edu