JournalFrom the farm garden to the Japanese garden
Anyone looking to create a beautiful garden can pick and choose from our rich variety of perennials and shrubs...
Summery freshness and autumnal romance mark out June’s plant of the month - the Golden Rain Tree. Unlike most other trees, it waits until the summer months before it blooms yellow and gold. And this is just one of the reasons why the Koelreuteria paniculata is a popular choice as an ornamental tree for both gardens and parks.
And whether as a tree or a bush, this plant often has multiple trunks, and reaches a height of around 8 -12 metres. The gently branched boughs sprout their elongated, feathery leaves from May onwards. While these sprouts are still red, the leaves in summer are a lovely dark green. And then the next dash of colour follows, with its yellow sea of blossoms. From June onwards, panicles of up to 40cm become edged with a multitude of these small, yellow blossoms. Even though these are only around a centimetre long, still thanks to the thickness of the growth they produce a magnificent effect, one which will stay on display through until August. This is when the fruit appears, bringing with it yet another change of colour.
The fruits of the Koelreuteria paniculata appear as small capsules, hanging below the branches. Initially these are light green and as such don’t stand out within the green foliage, but in autumn they come very much into their own. While the leaves develop into an autumnal yellow-orange colour, the vivid green capsules turn into delicate brownish shells, each containing a trio of small black seeds. These many small lantern shapes in the middle of the yellow-orange coat of leaves induce a pleasant autumnal feel, both on the tree and in the vase.
Koelreuteria paniculata are extremely frugal plants. The Golden Rain Tree prefers neutral to lightly alkaline earth, while also feeling at home in stony, chalky substrata. And it deals with heat and cold without great problem too. Since the Golden Rain Tree comes originally from China, it prefers warmth and sunshine, although direct sunlight is best avoided, especially with young trees (ensuring shade for the tree can be a helpful remedy). The Golden Rain Tree has a correspondingly reduced need for water. During periods of particular heat and ongoing dryness however, ensuring adequate irrigation is imperative. Winter is similar: although the Koelreuteria paniculata is generally hardened against winter cold, when the temperature drops to below -20°C, the plant should be judiciously protected, or if possible spend the winter indoors.
Are you as taken with this versatile ornamental tree as we are? With our online catalogue you could add a Golden Rain Tree to your shopping cart today: we’ll promptly send you an offer and agree an appointment to plant your tree.