Koelreuteria paniculata Laxm.

goldenrain tree, pride of India, China tree, varnish tree
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Koelreuteria paniculata
Elena Torres & Santiago Moreno
Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Koelreuteria paniculata: Appearance of a young specimen in summer

Appearance of a young specimen in summerPinnate leaf 30 cm long with irregularly shaped to pinnatifid lobed leafletsDetailed view of an inflorescence with two flower buds, a flower in anthesis and a young fruitGroup of 7 capsules with a membrane-like, reticulated pericarp; the capsule that does not have the central valve shows that the capsules are hollow and open along the midvein of the carpel

Koelreuteria: After J. G. Kölreuter, a German botanist of the 18th century

paniculatus, -a, -um: laid out in a panicle, referring to the arrangement of the flowers in the inflorescence


Habit: Deciduous, monoecious tree or shrub up to 10-20 m tall with dark, cracked bark and a rounded crown.

Leaves: alternate, deciduous, imparipinnate, 15-40 cm long, with a petiole 3-8 cm long; blade with 3-9 pairs of leaflets 4-10 cm long x 2.5-6 cm wide, ovate, ± acute at the apex, with irregularly serrate to pinnatifid margins, glabrous to minutely pubescent.

Flowers: unisexual, zygomorphic, with short pedicels, arranged in terminal panicle-shaped inflorescences 15-40 cm long, with 5 free sepals, of ± different size, 4 petals 0.5-1 cm long, yellow, reflexed, linear, with 2 small basal appendages that later become orange, a ring-shaped nectariferous disc, 8 stamens (very short in female flowers) and a syncarpous, 3-carpellate gynoecium with a superior ovary and a 3-lobed stigma.

Fruit: capsule 4-6 × 2-4 cm, conical, trigonous, inflated, with a brownish paper-like pericarp and one seed per cavity, globose and black.


It flowers between the end of spring and summer; the capsules develop in autumn and remain during the winter.

Geographic origin

Native to China.


It is often cultivated as an ornamental because of its showy flowers.

It is propagated from seeds and cuttings.

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