Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Golden Shower Tree, Purging Cassia, Golden Chain Tree, Indian Laburnum
Cassia fistula

Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cassia (KASS-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: fistula (FIST-yoo-luh) (Info)

Synonym:Bactyrilobium fistula
Synonym:Cassia bonplandiana
Synonym:Cassia fistuloides
Synonym:Cassia rhombifolia
Synonym:Cathartocarpus excelsus

One vendor has this plant for sale.

17 members have or want this plant for trade.


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By AustinBarbie
Thumbnail #1 of Cassia fistula by AustinBarbie

By AustinBarbie
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By Chamma
Thumbnail #3 of Cassia fistula by Chamma

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There are a total of 37 photos.
Click here to view them all!


9 positives
7 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive blugoose On Mar 16, 2015, blugoose from Saint Petersburg, FL wrote:

We bought this house here in St Pete, Fl over 25 years ago now. We got a fully mature Golden Shower tree with the house. It is still a huge showoff and brings admirers to our yard with cameras. It is outside our privacy fence and the boughs hang over our small pool which makes for a lovely dip! The blooms seem to last a very long time and the scent seems to me similar to star jasmine drifting in from a distance. I have never grown one from seed but have passed along pods to anyone who asks. It doesn't seem to mind when you trim it, either. The city did a butcher job a few years ago while putting in new electric poles and wires. I was livid but she survived and is doing well. I have no idea how old this tree is or how long they live. Maybe forever??? We can only hope.

Neutral anne32132 On Oct 11, 2014, anne32132 from Edgewater, FL wrote:

I had one of these beautiful trees as we refer to as the scrambled egg tree many years ago it was planted in my front yard until a big gust of wind came through and blew it over. I recently found a plant growing inmy front garden from which pods were found. Not knowing what this was I continue to watch it grow. I noticed it resembled the scrambled egg tree however leaves were much bigger than those of the older tree. I did notice
that under the larger leaves and pods were the smaller leaves with little blooms. I was happy to report that I have a scrambled egg tree growing in my yard with several pods collected to share with family and friends. I directly planted seeds into ground.I now have several baby cassia's planted in pots and in the ground in a wind safe area's.

Negative swingate On Aug 29, 2014, swingate from Wauchula, FL wrote:

We bought one from a local nursery about five years ago and it was blooming when it was planted. It hasn't bloomed since although this year it put on a lot of new growth. I wish some one could tell me how to make it bloom. I used a blooming fertilizer recommended by the nursery but no blooms. It's probably past blooming time now. What can I do. If anyone could help me I would be grateful.

Positive BrugDatLvr On Jul 10, 2008, BrugDatLvr from Sanford, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

**Upon recent bloom, has become apparent that my particular plant is actually Senna Alata, Description moved to appropriate Plant File**

Positive SierraTigerLily On Jun 21, 2007, SierraTigerLily from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have seen some beautiful specimens, easily twenty feet tall, growing in Palm Beach county, Florida. Does anyone know how easy they are to train? I'd like to make an arbor like the one posted in the pictures section for Laburnum Anagyroides. The Cassia trees appear brittle, so I'm not sure how easy it is to shape them.

Negative diana44 On May 3, 2005, diana44 from Brick, NJ wrote:

I have had this tree for years, it seems to attract spider mites. It rarley has blooms and grows very, very slow. I live In New Jersey. I wonder if its get too cold in the winter for it. I see every one else that has had sucess lives in much warmer climates. Im going to load it up with miracid, maybe that will help.

Positive cheryldawn On Feb 27, 2005, cheryldawn from Lakeland, FL wrote:

I see these trees all around where I live in Lakeland, Florida. I think they're beautiful.I aquired some seed to sow. But, I recently read on another forum that they often don't bloom when grown by seed. Something about it's gene pool and the odds would be like 1 out of a thousand grown by seed might bloom.
Does anyone know if that's true? I'd hate to grow some by seeds, only to find out a few years later that it's not ever going to bloom.

Positive DawnRain On Nov 14, 2004, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

Cassia fistula , aka Golden Shower Tree is a tropical tree that grows from zones 9b and warmer. Both it and the similar-looking Laburnum anagyroides have hanging wisteria like blooms in beautiful yellows.

Positive TREEHUGR On Nov 13, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Not bad for an exotic. Nearby there is a boulevard with these planted all along it. It looked nice in the spring. They all bloomed at the same time. I seem to remember the bloom hit around april/mayish definitely not june or july as some of the nearby reports have indicated but I suppose that depends on the microclimate. They look like nice shade trees. Too bad no one showed a closeup of the bark or closeups of the leaves.

Gives florida some badly needed color. Don't get too excited though, the flowers only last about a week. A native alternative for someone living in Florida would be the redbud but those don't get as large.

Neutral spaceman_spiff On Jun 26, 2004, spaceman_spiff from Saint Petersburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have been driving past one of these trees on my way to work in St. Petersburg, FL, and the beautiful flowers recently made me notice it in detail. I decided to go by there on my day off and take some photos (uploaded to this site today).

St. Petersburg is often listed as Zone 9, but I have also seen us listed as Zone 10, and I believe perhaps "Zone 9b."

The tree I photographed is about 20 feet tall and also had numerous seed pods on it. Since one pod was laying on the ground outside the owner's fence, I "rescued" it and brought it home to see if I can grow the seeds!

Took me a while to figure out what this tree was called, but since I had recently learned about the Royal Poinciana tree (Delonix regia) (a tree with vaguely similar seed pods and beautiful red flowers--although very different leaves), I decided to start searching the database under the family of the Royal Poinciana (Caesalpiniaceae), and soon found this one.

Positive nature_girl On May 6, 2004, nature_girl from Singapore

I live in singapore and there are plenty of 'golden shower' trees growing here. when the flowers bloom, the golden shower looks spectacular, especially when it is covered with hanging bunches of yellow flowers. the golden shower is popular among butterflies and you can usually see one or two around a golden shower tree. the pods are long, green and sausage like, turning black with maturity. many can often be found hanging from a single tree. all in all, a beautiful plant good for decoration.

Positive desertboot On Apr 26, 2004, desertboot from Bangalore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

It's working! A fistful of Cassia fistula seeds from a single pod collected in the wild in April 2003 sat dormant in a tray of sand, outdoors, watered...until last week. As an experiment, I:
a) sifted out the seeds
b) lightly nicked the hard outer seed-cases with a pair of nail-clippers, being very careful not to damage the embryos;
c) let the nicked seeds sit overnight in a cup of water; and
d) sowed the bloated up little fellas in a 50:50 combination of peat and sand in a seed tray the following morning.

That was on the April 20, 2004. Delighted to report that the tops of the seeds are just beginning to emerge from cover - a sure sign of rapid activity below? All this, happening in South India where the temp is around 34 degrees C.

C. fistula grows wild in most Southern Indian jungles, and a bit of a rarity in urban gardens. The few that I've seen in and around town appear rather stunted (possibly because they are young?) but still "showy" when in bloom - as some indeed are right now - and nothing close to their larger wild cousins! I've also been warned that they are a delicate species and need all the TLC one can lavish on them - at least for the first three years. But what's exciting is that last years seeds had lain dormant for a good 12 months, just waiting to happen. Viva mum nature!!!

13th May: Update
24 delicate little goldenshower baby trees, each identical in almost all respects, all a uniform 3 inches tall...

Neutral mike10012 On Apr 11, 2004, mike10012 wrote:

I bought a house two years ago with a Weeping Golden Chain Tree in the front yard. I have no idea how old it is but it stands about 3 feet high, and so far has not bloomed. It may be I don't get enough sun because of large street trees.

Neutral BrendaJane On Mar 28, 2004, BrendaJane from Louisville, KY wrote:

I bought a chain tree two years ago, and I'm not sure how old needs to be be before it starts blooming .

Neutral wnstarr On Dec 28, 2003, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Washington

The tree resemblies a wisteria when in bloom, only in a nice yellow 1 foot hanging blooms that completely cover the entire tree. Makes a great tree for the late spring blooms that completely cover the tree. Is a small ornamental tree to about 20-25 foot tall at maturity.

Neutral mfsander On Dec 27, 2003, mfsander wrote:

I have recently moved to Honolulu, Hawaii (assigned to a military post... and military housing at Red Hill). I have a fully grown variant of the Golden Shower tree in my front yard.

Neutral Monocromatico On Jun 1, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Here in Rio de Janeiro we have some really big Cassia fistula. When they bloom, the ground gets covered with white petals and stamens. Although its a wonderful looking tree, it's not recomended for parking places (imagine it, you park your red car, and when you return, it's all yellow :^P)

Positive AustinBarbie On Jun 23, 2002, AustinBarbie from Harker Heights, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Cassia fistula (Golden Shower Tree or Purging Cassia) is a late spring to mid-summer bloomer (with the heaviest blooming in June) that puts on a massive golden yellow floral display. The fragrant flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. Cassia is a very large genus with about 500 species, the better known members of which are fine flowering trees. To many, the finest cassia is the fistula.

Cassia fistula is a legume, rated 30-40 feet and native to India and South Asia. Golden Shower is related to the Jerusalem Thorn Tree and redbud.

The foliage is medium green and compound providing a nice open, lacy look.

Flowers are light yellow hanging in groups almost 12 inches in length. This cassia is a summer bloomer starting as early as April then through August and a South Florida favorite.

Easy to grow, C. fistula is tolerant of many soils and light salt drift. Once established, it is a carefree tree with few requirements except food.

Cassia is a huge genus that includes many of the most colorful trees and shrubs in the tropics. Most Cassia shrubs are heavy bloomers with yellow flowers, are rated 15-30 feet and many are trained to be small trees. Plant them in full sun for best flowering. Groups of three are very nice as a medium height focal point.


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

Auburn, Alabama
Daphne, Alabama
Dothan, Alabama
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Deltona, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Edgewater, Florida
Miami, Florida
Mulberry, Florida
Naples, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida (3 reports)
Tampa, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Honomu, Hawaii
Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi
Maben, Mississippi
Brick, New Jersey
Dayton, Ohio
Conway, South Carolina
Brownsville, Texas (2 reports)
Hallettsville, Texas
La Feria, Texas
La Porte, Texas
La Vernia, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
Newport News, Virginia
Puyallup, Washington

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