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Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech (first published October 2018, last reviewed March 2024)


Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf

Height: 40 feet

Spread: 30 feet

Shape: Upright rounded

Goldenraintree is a medium tree with showy yellow flowers in early summer. Flowers are followed by bladder-like fruits that start out light green, turn yellow, and then brown. Fall color can be fair to good depending on the individual tree. This species is quite tolerant of adverse conditions.

Plant Needs

Zone: 5 to 9

Light: Partial shade to full sun

Moisture: Moist to dry

Soil Type: Sandy, loam or clay

pH Range: 3.5 to 7.3


Suggested uses for this plant include shade and specimen plant.

Planting Notes

Tolerates wide range of soil conditions. Tolerates drought, heat, wind, and air pollution.


Requires little maintenance.

If required, prune during the winter.


No serious insect or disease pests.


Consult local garden centers, historic or public gardens and arboreta regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Cultivars of Koelreuteria paniculata:

There are cultivars that flower later in the summer.


The large, conspicuous, yellow flower clusters are produced in late June when few other trees are in bloom.

The bladder-like fruit hangs like clusters of small Chinese lanterns until late in the fall. Recommended for urban conditions. Most effective in informal landscape situations.

This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

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Publication Date

March 7, 2024