Gymnocladus dioica
Kentucky coffee tree

Fabaceae (pea family)
Cental and Eastern US

A deciduous tree with leaves 1½ to 3 feet long divided into 1- to 3-inch-long leaflets. A single specimen, about 50 feet tall but leaning dramatically, was in the greenbelt between San Francisquito Creek and Sand Hill Road, about 100 yards toward El Camino Real from London Plane Way and 25 yards in from the bike path (map). It collapsed around 2008, but clusters of shoots are sprouting vigorously from the roots (about 20 feet tall in 2018) and from a section of the fallen trunk (about 12 feet tall).

Name derivation: Gymnocladus – Greek gymnos (naked) and klados (branch), the branches are stout, without any small twigs; dioica – dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants).

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Sairus Patel noted the tree’s collapse and resprouting (Jul 2018).