Koelreuteria paniculata. GOLDENRAIN TREE. China, Korea, Japan
SAPINDACEAE (Soapberry family)

One of the five official memorial trees from ancient times in China, the goldenrain tree was reserved for the tombs of scholars. The compound leaves are about a foot long with 7 to 15 leaflets each of which is itself more or less deeply lobed or serrated. The large foot-long clusters of yellow flowers, which can be used for making a yellow dye, give way at the end of the summer to conspicuous brown, papery pods resembling Chinese lanterns with internal pockets containing three hard, ¼-inch black fruits, each almost filled by one seed. The leaves turn yellow, brown, and red before falling. The tree is resistant to frost and is suitable for alkaline soils.A fine planting grows along the east side of Schwab Residential Center.

Other campus trees in the soapberry family: Alectryon, Cupaniopsis, Dodonaea, Koelreuteria bipinnata

Illustration: McMinn, Howard E. and Evelyn Maino. 1951. An illustrated manual of Pacific coast trees; with lists of trees recommended for various uses on the Pacific coast by H. W. Shepherd. 2d ed. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.

Illustrations (links open new windows): Silhouettes from Trees of Stanford & its Environs


Name derivation, genus | species After J.G Koelreuter (1733-1806) german professor of botany | with flowers in panicles

Related material: Canopy Trees for Palo Alto Tree Library

Botanical name index | Common name index | Family