Goldenrain Tree – Koelreuteria paniculata

Goldenrain Tree open seedpods
Goldenrain Tree open seedpods

Known as Luan in China, and native to China, Korea and Japan, it has been cultivated since 1763. The tree is planted over the graves of scholars. It is grown for its abundance of yellow flowers in summer and papery lantern-like seedpods in late summer/fall. It grows to be 20-40 feet tall with a wide rounded crown. It is highly drought tolerant and would do well as a city street tree as it also tolerates pollutants.

Used in traditional Chinese medicine; the flowers are ophthalmic. They are used in the treatment of conjunctivitis and epiphora (an overflow of tears onto the face due to improper drainage of the eye…this is not crying). It has a reputation of being anti-oxidant and anti-tumor

The seeds are edible when roasted, but not commonly consumed. The tender young spring shoots and leaves have been used as a cooked green.

Flowers used as a yellow dye; a black dye is obtained from the leaves. The seeds are used as beads in necklaces, etc.


One response to this post.

  1. Oh, I just LOVE these – the Chinese Lanterns 🙂 Too bad they don’t grow around Western Montana! Thanks tons for sharing, love reading your new plant entries, even if I don’t always comment!


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