Laburnum Species, Golden Chain Tree

Laburnum anagyroides

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Laburnum (la-BURN-um) (Info)
Species: anagyroides (an-a-gy-RO-id-eez) (Info)
Synonym:Cytisus laburnum
Synonym:Laburnum vulgare



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Pelham, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Juneau, Alaska

Dewey, Arizona

Prescott, Arizona

San Leandro, California

South Lake Tahoe, California

Trinidad, Colorado

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Nampa, Idaho

Saint Maries, Idaho

Rockford, Illinois

West Brooklyn, Illinois

Wiscasset, Maine

Gloucester, Massachusetts

North Brookfield, Massachusetts

Rockport, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Warren, Michigan

Winona, Minnesota

Pahrump, Nevada

Reno, Nevada(2 reports)

Derry, New Hampshire

Winchester, New Hampshire

Montville, New Jersey

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

Lufkin, Texas

Weslaco, Texas

Springville, Utah

Lexington, Virginia

Moneta, Virginia

Aberdeen, Washington

Bellevue, Washington

Centralia, Washington

Elma, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Lake Stevens, Washington

Seattle, Washington(2 reports)

Shelton, Washington

Skokomish, Washington

Tacoma, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 17, 2020, dixiedog08 from Centralia, WA wrote:

Even though information about this tree from everywhere I've read says that its not suitable for our planting zone in SW Washington State (8), its readily seen growing in many yards and doing quite well. We are a marine temperate zone, and even though our summers are probably warmer than Bar Harbor, Maine, its quite common to see them in May here, blooming quite nicely, and not in any sort of protected environment either!


On Apr 25, 2017, GooseMorning from Wiscasset, ME wrote:

Successfully germinated 4 seeds after lightly scraping them with sandpaper and wrapping them in a moist paper towel inside a baggie, kept warm but not hot. Sowed the seeds following the farmers almanac moon cycles recommendations. It said on the seed package it would take 12-15 weeks to germinate but all of mine had sprouted in under a week, which was fantastic. Have had them in 2 gallon containers for about 6 months, the tallest is about 18 inches. The shortest is about 7 inches. I keep them inside under LED lighting. Someday when I have my own place they will line the drive way. I use promix soil and hardly any nutrients. They are pretty drought tolerant so far. Also mine have dropped almost all their leaves at some point but then surged back with new growth. If you choose to grow these ... read more


On Aug 11, 2016, aechacko from Montville, NJ wrote:

I've had laburnum watereri vossi for almost a year and a half now. Bought it from a local nursery as a 5 foot tall sapling. Since this cultivar is a grafted one, it bloomed this spring. A very pretty tree in bloom, but does not tolerate heat very well. Although it is planted in a partially shaded spot protected from afternoon sun, the leaves turned brown and dropped off in July in spite of regular watering. But new leaves grew right back in August. This has happened for two summers now. So I assume the plant is doing just fine. It has hardly grown since planting. But has survived our zone 6 winter without any damage. I have a tulip tree growing about 20 feet from it and hopefully, it'll provide additional shade in a couple of years. It can look decrepit when not in bloom. But Louis the pla... read more


On Aug 8, 2016, BBW7565 from Crawfordsville, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

I am confused. We have what I thought is a Golden Rain Tree that looks close to the "chain tree" variety, maybe not quite as chain-like. It has interesting seed pods and always self sows a few. We are zone 5 to 6 and it survives winters with a few -15 degree days a year. Wish I could post a picture because it is a pretty tree in bloom and not bad otherwise.


On Aug 3, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Laburnum x watereri 'Vossii' is the best of the laburnums for ornamental use. A beautiful tree in bloom, but the photos of blooming golden chain trees are deceptive. Out of bloom, for 50 weeks a year, it's a dowdy thing.

When young, the habit is narrow-upright, looks almost fastigiate. It can reach 25' tall, broadening with age.

A short-lived tree, it's intolerant of hot summers. Trees I've cared for are given to occasional branch or top dieback.

The seeds are notoriously poisonous. Self-sows here, but not invasively.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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... read more


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 ... read more


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.


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?


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.


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!


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)


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!


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.


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.


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.