Laburnum Species, Goldenchain Tree, Waterer Laburnum 'Vossii'

Laburnum watereri

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Laburnum (la-BURN-um) (Info)
Species: watereri (wat-er-er--eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Vossii
Synonym:Laburnum x watereri



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 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

Can be grown as an annual


Seed is poisonous if ingested

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:

Clifton, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Brunswick, Missouri

Freehold, New Jersey

Greenwood Lake, New York

Selden, New York

Webster, New York

Mansfield, Ohio

Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

Shoreline, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 3, 2021, Nicky604 from Vancouver,
Canada wrote:

I have a Golden Chain that is self seeding all over the place! I'm in Vancouver Canada and obviously this species really enjoys the climate. There is one mature tree (obviously self seeded as there are many in the neighbourhood) along the side of the house and this has led to a dozen young trees that I have had to cut down because there is no room for them to grow. I also pull up at least 20 or 30 little saplings - I call them "tree weeds"- each year, growing in the lawn, in the flower beds and along the side of the house. My landlord bought our house 10 years ago and since then the property has become overgrown with self seeded trees: Birch, maple, Elm, pine, cedar, Holly, Dogwood but worst of all GOLDEN CHAIN everywhere! This spring I plan to remove 6 more!


On Mar 12, 2017, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I have only seen this European species one time; it is not commonly planted in the USA. The one I've seen was planted as a 2" diameter tree and hardly grew bigger from that in southeast PA after about 8 years. I don't recommend it as a wonderful small tree, of the Legume Family, in the US. It does suffer some from leafhoppers.


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

This 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.

This is a cross between L. alpinum and L. anagyroides.


On May 14, 2012, fullofire29 from Poulsbo, WA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have a goldenchain tree that has volunteered itself in the top of a rock retaining wall on the side of my property. It grows right out of the rocks with very little soil. It is a hardy little tree with pretty yellow flowers faithfully every spring. Only drawback is all the pea pod seeds everywhere that fall off over the winter.


On Apr 25, 2010, Fiddlestix from Springfield, VA wrote:

I found this tree to be extremely slow growing and finally figured out, that
although it says it is deer tolerant, the deer were eating it. I finally moved it last summer to a tub which is mostly in shade and protected by a cage and it has done really well and grown. It seems very happy in that mostly shaded area and although it has not flowered it, it is finally growing. I may leave it there one more summer since it seems very content and then move it next year. It's now
about three feet tall and has never bloomed but it's had a hard life of
losing all of it's foliage yearly to deer. I keep hoping to eventually get some blooms from it. I saw a large one of these blooming years ago and thought it was one of most beautiful trees I had ever seen, so I'll keep trying.


On Oct 11, 2007, WaterCan2 from Eastern Long Island, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A stunning performer when in May bloom, it seems to hate the summer heat and looks like a tree from "Transylvania" for the rest of the year. I have gotten the seeds to germinate and am looking forward to adding another to my garden soon. Sometimes takes a year off to "recharge" but the next year comes back with overwhelming blooms. I feed it 'Fruit and Deciduous Tree' spikes 2x a year and it does'nt seem to mind.


On Jan 20, 2007, TuxedoWarwick from Greenwood Lake, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Absolutely gorgeous when in full bloom, especially the 'Vossii' cultivar, which has longer, more abundant chains of flowers. My local nurseryman advised me that this tree dislikes fertilizer and nutrient-rich soil, and that it will do fine in relatively poor, dry soil with its deep, clover-like taproot. The tree is related to clover, and can generate its own nitrogen. Do not plant where young children can eat the poisonous seeds. I've returned to my nursery about six times to purchase this tree, and always hold off at the last minute, because the tree's structure is not nearly as beautiful as its flowers. After the flowers fade and drop, the tree looks "weedy" - this is esp. true if the local nursery tries to prune the tree into more desirable shapes, because the tree rebels and often... read more