Plant Encyclopedia

Golden Rain Tree

Koelreuteria paniculata

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Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) at Ted Lare Design and Build

Golden Rain Tree in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) at Ted Lare Design and Build

Golden Rain Tree flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) at Ted Lare Design and Build

Golden Rain Tree fruit

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  35 feet

Spread:  35 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  5a

Other Names:  Varnish Tree, Pride of India


A very showy accent tree which is smothered in loose panicles of golden yellow flowers in early summer and beautiful fall color; very adaptable but flowers best in full sun; a high quality specimen plant for small yards

Ornamental Features

Golden Rain Tree features airy plumes of yellow flowers rising above the foliage in early summer. It has emerald green deciduous foliage which emerges burgundy in spring. The serrated pinnately compound leaves turn an outstanding gold in the fall. The furrowed silver bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Golden Rain Tree is a dense deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Messy

Golden Rain Tree is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Golden Rain Tree will grow to be about 35 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 35 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 5 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Shade 
Flowers  Fall Color  Bark 
Ornamental Features

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