Koelreuteria paniculata - Laxm.

Common Name Golden Rain Tree, Varnish Tree
Family Sapindaceae
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Found by sea-shores in Japan[58]. Grows on plains and in secondary forest on poor soils in China[200].
Range E. Asia - N. China. Naturalized in Japan and S. Europe.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Rounded, Vase.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Koelreuteria paniculata is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

USDA hardiness zone : 5-8

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Koelreuteria paniculata Golden Rain Tree, Varnish Tree

Koelreuteria paniculata Golden Rain Tree, Varnish Tree
Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Berries - roasted[2, 177]. Leaves and young shoots - cooked[2, 105, 177, 179].
Medicinal Uses

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The flowers are ophthalmic[178, 218]. They are used in the treatment of conjunctivitis and epiphora[218].
Other Uses
Beads;  Dye.

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers.[46, 61, 178]. A black dye is obtained from the leaves[178]. The seeds are used as beads in necklaces etc[46, 61, 178].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Pest tolerant, Specimen. Succeeds in any good loamy soil[1, 11] and in dry soils. Prefers a sunny sheltered position[1, 11]. A wind resistant plant, but it does not like salt-laden winds[200]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution[200]. This species is hardy to about -10°c when fully dormant[200], though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Grows best in areas with long hot summers, it is fast growing in such conditions[200]. A short-lived tree[11]. A good bee plant[108]. Plants are susceptible to coral spot fungus, especially if the wood is not properly ripened due to insufficient summer heat[11]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Special Features: Not North American native, Blooms are very showy.
The seed requires a period of cold stratification. It is probably best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours in warm water. If it swells up then sow it in a cold frame. If it does not swell then soak it for a further 24 hours in hot water prior to sowing. This should cause the seed to swell but, should this fail, scarification (taking care not to damage the seed embryo) followed by a further 24 hours in warm water should do the trick[80]. Germination is usually good[78], though the seedlings are very variable[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Consider giving the plants some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors[78]. Root cuttings, 4cm taken in December. Plant horizontally in individual pots in a warm greenhouse[78].


Additional information for Golden Rain Tree