This small tree is as beautiful as its common name, and fixes nitrogen to boot, aiding the growth of other plants around it. An open-branching, broadly spreading, deciduous tree with a rounded crown. Varies in height from 4m to 10m depending on conditions. Excellent provider of dappled shade on hot sites, and an interesting choice for a food forest, with plenty of room for shrubs and ground cover under the spreading branches – do experiment and let me know!
Grown as an ornamental tree in temperate regions all across the world because of the aesthetic appeal of its leaves, flowers and seed pods. In spring the leaves unfold in tones of pinkish bronze to purple, maturing to bright green in summer and fading to yellow in the autumn. The young leaves and shoots are said to be edible. Profuse clusters of bright yellow flowers appear in early summer give way to brown papery bladder-shaped seed pods which resemble Chinese lanterns. The flowers are very attractive to bees, are said to be ophthalmic and can be used to treat conjunctivitis, and can also be processed to obtain a yellow dye. A black dye can be obtained from the leaves. The seeds are edible when roasted, and can be used as beads in jewellery.
Requires full sun, tolerates drought, wind (except maritime), frost to -10 degrees, and atmospheric pollution. Flowering is most prolific in areas with long hot summers and cold winters. Not to be confused with Laburnum which is also known as Golden Rain Tree and is poisonous.
PB8 90/120 Certified Organic Plant