Laburnum Anagyroides or Common Laburnum is one of the prettiest trees you can choose for your landscape. A relatively small tree, Laburnum Anagyroides is a popular ornamental tree with some interesting characteristics it brings along the way, aside from its beautiful yellow dangling flowers.
Of the Family Papilionaceae, the Genus Laburnum are classified as small deciduous trees with leaves composed of three leaflets, featuring bright yellow flowers shaped like a pea, in pendant racemes. Laburnum Anagyroides is also known as Common Laburnum, Golden Chain, Golden Rain, or even the Bean Tree. The Golden Chain name is a nod to its dangling yellow flowers when they bloom in late spring. One other unique characteristic relates to its classification as a leguminous tree, meaning it fixes Nitrogen from the atmosphere by way of bacteria borne in nodules on its roots. Its origins range from Southern and Central Europe, including France, Slovenia and Italy. The Common Laburnum was first introduced in the UK in 1560 and is found planted in many parks, open spaces and gardens.
This beautiful tree is also known for its poisonous nature. All the parts have noxious aspects, but the seed is considered the most harmful. As a member of the pea family, the fruit does resemble the pea vegetable’s pod, but twisted and black upon maturation.
Laburnum is a fairly easy grower, adaptable across many textures from well drained sands to chalky and even clay soil types; but it prefers the soil to be well drained, and does not tolerate water logged conditions. It grows well in near neutral, slightly acidic or slightly alkaline soils. They will grow to an ultimate height between 4-8 metres, and an ultimate spread of 4-8 metres as well. It will take between 20-50 years for this specimen to reach full growth.
Laburnum Anagyroides grow in the semi shade of a light woodland planting or areas with no shade at all. It can tolerate strong winds, but avoid maritime exposures. This popular ornamental produces some of the hardest and heaviest timber of all the European trees. It is valued for its use in furniture, cabinet, and instrument making. The centre of the trunk is dark, chocolate brown in colour, and also very hard, often used in its history as a substitute for ebony. The smooth bark will often times branch from the base, making it a popular choice in parks and gardens; but even for hedging or in areas where bushy growth exists.