WSU Clark County Extension

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Goldenchain Tree

Scientific name: Laburnum watereri

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:5 to 7
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:15 ft
Width:12 ft
Bloom:Showy flowers
Bloom Time:May to June
Bloom Color:Yellow
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description During the 2 weeks in the spring when the Goldenchain Tree is in bloom the bright yellow string of flowers are spectacular.

This is a small deciduous tree that can grow to 15’ in height and 10’ in width forming an upright vase shape at maturity. The leaves consist of a trifoliate combination of equal sized elliptical leaflets, 1.5”-3” in length.

Flowers first start to appear in late May. They form on long (10”-20”) racemes which hang in pendulous clusters from the branches. The flowers resemble those of the garden pea. Hummingbirds and bees are attracted to the flowers.

Flowers morph to small flattened pods. The seeds of the Goldenchain Tree are poisonous.

This species does best on well drained sites, especially those that are moist. It can tolerate higher pH sites. It can take sun to partial shade.
It is best not to prune this tree, as its form can be destroyed. Mature trees are prone to loosing their lower limbs.

Pest free in the Northwest.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234