Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Golden Rain Tree, Golden Raintree, Panicled Goldenraintree
Koelreuteria paniculata 'September'

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Koelreuteria (keel-roo-TER-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: paniculata (pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: September

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 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)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; direct sow after last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

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

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Thumbnail #1 of Koelreuteria paniculata by slyperso1

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2 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Apr 2, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

'September' blooms in late August and early September in Boston Z6a. Its immature seed capsules are green, like the species.

The Arnold Arboretum's plant introduction program mistakenly distributed some 'Rose Lantern' (which has ornamental pink immature capsules) to growers believing it was 'September'.

Both cultivars are aggressive self-sowers like the species. If you take into account the time spent removing seedlings, these are not low-maintenance trees. I suspect that in time they may also prove to be invasive of natural habitat.

Positive Weerobin On Sep 1, 2013, Weerobin from Saint Louis, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

It's nice having a plant bloom this time of year.
I haven't had problems with unwanted seedlings.

Positive joebobone On Oct 1, 2012, joebobone from Titusville, FL wrote:

My first house that I ever bought here in central Fl. had two full grown rain trees in the front yard, that was in 1979. I built a house a few years later in 1986 and the first thing I planted was 3 golden rain trees across the front yard. So with that said I do believe that not many other people can say they have been dealing with them for as long as I have. I love the trees, there are alot of people that can not stand them at all and will cut them down in a heart beat. For the ones that hate the tree I can understand why, I have never seen a more messy tree in my life, from the begining of Sept. until the tree is finished sheding anything that is growing on it which does not take long as long as there is a good week of cold weather or at least cooler. But until it is done sheding be aware of the mess and clean up. In Florida we do not realy see any change in seasons to speak of, unless, you own a few rain trees. The color changes are totaly awsome, I do not know how the tree knows what month it is but with no weather change it starts changing. It does it quick also, when that first blossom is seen it seems like just a few days go by and it starts droping all its blooms, thus, GOLDEN RAIN. The tree is alive with honey bees also. A week or so goes by and then the red pods start showing up. As soon as those start drying out somewhat they start droping and here comes the big mess. Right now my trees are in total full bloom with the red pods just now starting to come to full size, what a beautiful site the trees are right now. There is not a more beautiful tree than the tree in this stage. Like I said it does not take all the blooms and pods and then the small tiny branches to fall off and the tree to be 100 percent bare. The Bare tree is also a pretty sight during the winter. The tree is the first one to start turning for the winter and the first one to start growing back in the spring. Both ways, sheding and growing back is fast, very fast, so overall the mess is not all that bad to put up with. During that 100 deg. summer that shade is wonderful, grab a lawn chair and take a nice break from the other yard work you are doing. They love the heat, I have never just turned on the hose to just water the tree itself, I have NEVER had a problem with the tree getting to dry and hurting it. Parking under the trees is not a problem either, I have never gotten any type of saps or other tree dropings do any kind of damage to any vechicles at all. You might be cleaning off ALOT of dried blossems when parking under the tree during the fall but that is about it. The branches of the tree are very thin so as far as kids and climbing not a real good tree for that. When full grown the tree will handle a smaller child just fine until they are, lets guess, about 100 to 125 lbs. After that it would be kinda easy to damage the tree or worse yet a branch breaking and someone breaking a leg or arm. The branches and trunks are not real strong. The Trunks of the rain trees I love, most all the time you end up with multible trunks from the ground witch add ALOT of character to the tree. They grow very fast also, just a few years and you have a good size tree. After it gets to lets say about 20 or 25 feet it starts to realy start spreading out ontop. My trees have been growing now since 86 so just a bit over 25 years, the 3 of them span the full 100 feet of my lot with some fine shade.
I hope anyone that wanted some info on how the trees do over all helps them out making there choice of what tree to plant. If you DO NOT want a mess forget this one, if a bit of lawn clean up does not bother you and love good shorter shade trees these are for you. I do ALOT less yard work now a days at 60 years old but I would still pick the rain tree for my front yard. Retired, now I have a realy fine place to sit my lazy but down, relax and feed my squerrels that come and visit me, they love the trees also. They are very hardy so all you have to do is just plant it and forget it.
I have no idea how it handles very cold weather, as far as cool or somewhat cold, i have never had a problem from a freeze and we have had a few.

Negative Western13 On Sep 10, 2012, Western13 from Irvine, CA wrote:

I do not personally grow this tree but my neighbor has one and it is very invasive. Every seed is fertile and the Santa Ana winds here in Irvine CA. blow the pods everwhere. You can find them in your containers and lawn and any ground they land on. They stay fertile and sprout all year long,

They are a major nusiance but can be pulled up easily when young. They are a bigger problem where other homeowners ignore the seedings and they grow into a grove in another yard.

Only good in cold winter climes

Negative Nana444 On Jun 6, 2011, Nana444 from Versailles, KY wrote:

Although I love the shape and size, and it gives what I call muted shade - meaning not total, I hate that there are thousands of seeds produced at the end of the summer. They grow anywhere and everywhere! The bees and butterflies love it when the flowers are blooming and the color is great and it grew fast. I find myself in the spring picking up little trees from all over the yard, my neighbors yards, in piles of leaves. If it came in a variety that did not produce the seeds I would buy another in a heartbeat!! I was told there is one but who knows?


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

Malvern, Arkansas
Irvine, California
Titusville, Florida
Terre Haute, Indiana
Versailles, Kentucky
Ethel, Louisiana
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Saint Louis, Missouri
Cincinnati, Ohio
Baytown, Texas
Ridgefield, Washington

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