Koelreuteria - Golden Rain Trees
Koelreuteria are a group of deciduous trees that are native to China and Taiwan. There are just three species in the genus and the genus is part of the family Sapindaceae. The genus is named after the 18th century German botanist Joseph Gottleib Koelreuter. In native China, the tree has great status and it has often been planted at gravesides to mark the resting-place of scholars.
The trees are best known for their unusual seed pods which are encased in three-lobed capsules – they hang from the tree and are said to look like small chillies because of their shape. The leaves are pinnately divided and they are accompanied by panicles of yellow flowers in spring. The flowers have given the genus its common name of ‘Golden Rain Trees’ as the falling yellow petals look like golden rain. These beautiful trees make great ornamental specimens and they are perfect for planting in parkland settings.