Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Golden Chain Tree
Laburnum anagyroides

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Laburnum (la-BURN-um) (Info)
Species: anagyroides (an-a-gy-RO-id-eez) (Info)

Synonym:Cytisus laburnum
Synonym:Laburnum anagyroides var. alschingeri
Synonym:Laburnum vulgare
Synonym:Cytisus alschingeri

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

51 members have or want this plant for trade.


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 14 photos.
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7 positives
9 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Tinke On May 9, 2014, Tinke from Reno, NV wrote:

We just bought a neglected house in Reno, west of airport, with some very interesting trees, one of which just burst into bloom last week: Golden Chain Tree I think. No water or fertilizer for about a year before we bought the house, and mounded with rocks about a foot deep! Nice surprise when it burst into bloom.

Neutral jodievye On Jul 3, 2012, jodievye from moncton nb
Canada wrote:

i have had it growing now for 4 years and still no flowers. i read about shocking it but not sure if it is to late to do it this year. i already shocked it yesterday so i gess i will find out. does anyone know if it will work this year or not

Positive Taigen On Jun 27, 2012, Taigen from (Zone 4b) wrote:

I have had this tree for many years and it would not bloom until an old gardener said I should "shock" it by taking a shovel straight down into the soil. Do NOT wiggle etc. just go straight down all the way around the tree at the same distance as the branches from the trunk. Hope that makes sense. It works, I have done this every year since and we get wonderful blossoms and scents.
Love this tree, am trying to propagate some of the seeds but so far no success.

Neutral cargarden On Jun 20, 2012, cargarden from Goodview, MN wrote:

Does anyone know why the Golden Chain Tree won't bloom? I have had it for 5 years it is about 6-7 ft tall that doesn't even look like a tree more like a overgrown shrub with 5 tall limbs.

Neutral Klug On Mar 28, 2011, Klug from San Diego, CA wrote:

Does this plant or any of the others mentioned have a seed pod that is about a foot long and looks like a banana that has been dried to black? Someone on the streets nearby me has two in their parkway and I always admire them. One day I stopped the car and stole a long seed, and wouldn't you know, my husband tossed it, thinking it was nothing. You'd think living with a gardener and a crafter who saves everything, he would have known better. I live in San Diego and guess I'd better drive by that house again and this time go to the door and ask for a seed.

Neutral KanapahaLEW On Mar 28, 2011, KanapahaLEW from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Both NCSU (
and MOBOT (
suggest zones 5-7 for this tree, as well as for the commonly-sold Laburnum x watterii. There are other academic sources on the internet which also suggest zones 5-7 for these and also for the other two Laburnum species.

However, all Laburnums in the PlantFiles are rated for zones 5-11. Martha1Spur noted below (in 2006!) in one of the comments that people are confusing this plant with Koelreuteria paniculata, which truly has a zonal rating of 5-11. Wouldn't correction of this (on all Laburnum entries) help to decrease some of the confusion and help people to avoid wasting their money planting this tree in warmer zones?

Editor's Note
The zonal information has been updated

Positive inasue On Nov 2, 2010, inasue from Guthrie, OK wrote:

i don't know if this qualifies as helpful yet, but here goes anyway. i ordered 2 golden chain trees from Burgess because they were so inexpensive and i figured if they did'nt grow i would'nt be out more than the price of a hamburger. when the trees came i had to pot them because i had just sold my house and would'nt close the loan on the new place for another 6 weeks. 6 weeks later the guy backed out of the contract. now i have no house to live in and had to move into my daughters garage and put my stuff in storage while i looked for another the meantime the chain trees sat in their one galloon pots along with a zillon other things i had ordered till july when i finally found a place i could live with. by now the 1 ft. trees had been attacked by bugs and were looking pretty sorry. as soon as i could i started to plant the pots , not holding out much hope for the trees because the heat index was running from 110 to 115 for weeks at a time with absolutely no rain. The ground was so hard i had to soak it with water just to dig a hole. Then, to my amazement, up from the grave they arose. From july to the first of nov. thet have grown over 4 ft. tall and are beautifully green. They havent gone through a winter yet but our winters arent to tough in central oklahoma and i'm not worried. Go figure.

Positive quokka On May 5, 2009, quokka from Perth
Australia wrote:

If you love this tree and live in a warm or tropical area you should try growing Cassia fistula The Golden Shower tree, which loves the sun and can tolerate some drought. It is just as beautiful to look at also.

Neutral denise5159 On May 4, 2009, denise5159 from Tacoma, WA wrote:

I have had a dwarf Golden Chain tree for about 17 years . I had it in a whiskey barrel for many years and it always had bloomed. About 5 years ago I transplanted it into the yard in full sun it grows beautifully but never blooms anymore. Any ideas what I can do to get it to bloom?

Neutral goldentree On Jun 5, 2006, goldentree from Cypress, TX wrote:

I just visited a 'tulip' garden in Amsterdam this past week and saw this tree with all 'bright' golden chain flowers, didn't know what it was !. I also saw this 'plant' already flowered in a small pot ( 1 gallon ) for sale at the Amsterdam flower flee market !!!. Came back to Houston (TX) I must have one to try.

Neutral martha1spur On Feb 6, 2006, martha1spur from Louisville, KY wrote:

People on this thread are, I think, confusing Golden Showers (cassia fistula), Golden Rain (Koelreuteria paniculata), and the Golden Chain trees (Laburnum spp). Golden Showers grows in tropical regions, Golden Rain in termperate (at least here in zone 6) and the Laburnums grow in cooler regions (at least in zones 3-6). All are great-looking trees!

Positive OmaForFour On Jul 7, 2004, OmaForFour from Bar Harbor, ME wrote:

The Golden Chain Tree is growing profusely in my front yard in Bar Harbor, Maine! There are many neighbors who also have it in their yards - I guess from the seeds blowing. It has just stopped blooming now (July 7th)

Neutral Jamespayne On Mar 6, 2004, Jamespayne from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I just ordered a Golden Chain Tree, mainly because I think they are beautiful in bloom and they make a good shade tree.
I just read in the members threads about this tree, that it does not like tropical or sub-tropical cimates. Oddly enough, the first time I ever saw this tree in bloom was on vacation to the Florida Key's. The tree was huge and the blooms looked like they were tied to a long rope. Now I live in zone9b and there is one equally as beautiful as the one I saw in the Key's downtown. I hope I haven't made a mistatke, but if these other trees survived the sup-tropical climate, I hope mine do as well!

Neutral nt On Jun 6, 2003, nt from North Brookfield, MA wrote:

I have this plant in a corner, well protected from the winds from the west by the side of the house and porch. It grew from a very small seedling and is approximately 5 feet tall.

Positive AustinBarbie On Jun 9, 2002, AustinBarbie from Harker Heights, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

A small deciduous tree that is often trained to form archways over paths. Has yellow flowers on 60cm long racemes. Foliage opens pale green and matures to dark green. Likes fertile soil and sun. Does not like tropical or sub-tropical climates. Good points: beautiful flowers, ideal for small gardens.
Downside: snails love foliage.

Positive moscheuto On May 24, 2002, moscheuto from Westland, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Moderate grower to 20 ft. tall, 15 ft. wide.
Spectacular color from long, drooping clusters of fragrant bright yellow flowers!
Attractive deciduous garden tree planted singly in a lawn or grouped.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Pelham, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Juneau, Alaska
Dewey, Arizona
Prescott, Arizona
San Leandro, California
South Lake Tahoe, California
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Nampa, Idaho
Saint Maries, Idaho
Rockford, Illinois
West Brooklyn, Illinois
North Brookfield, Massachusetts
Rockport, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Warren, Michigan
Winona, Minnesota
Pahrump, Nevada
Reno, Nevada (2 reports)
Derry, New Hampshire
Winchester, New Hampshire
Brooklyn, New York
Depew, New York
Portugal Cove-st. Philip's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Dayton, Ohio
Medina, Ohio
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Allison Park, Pennsylvania
Royersford, Pennsylvania
Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Moncks Corner, South Carolina
Bacliff, Texas
Weslaco, Texas
Springville, Utah
Lexington, Virginia
Moneta, Virginia
Bellevue, Washington
Elma, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Lake Stevens, Washington
Seattle, Washington (2 reports)
Shelton, Washington
Tacoma, Washington

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