Family: Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Cladrastis kentukea Yellowwood

Common Name: Yellowwood, American Yellowwood

DescriptionA medium size shade tree with large pendulous white flowers.
Plant TypeTrees Deciduous
Hardiness Zone(3)4-8
Soil & Siteaverage
Temperaturebest in the cooler end of its hardiness zones
Flowerswhite, dripping with nectar, born on drooping pendulous panicles
Fruitflat seed pods, flat hard coated seeds
Leavesopens bright yellowish green changing to bright green, yellow in fall, pinnately compound, alternate
Stemsbark light gray, smooth
Dimensions30-50 by 40-55 feet (HS)
Maintenanceto avoid bleeding pruning should be done in the early summer not spring
Propagationseeds have dormancy
Cultivar Originintroduced 1812
Misc Facts"Genus name comes from the Greek klados meaning branch and thraustos meaning fragile for the brittle twigs. Specific epithet means of Kentucky. The wood of this tree contains a yellow dye that distinctively colors the heartwood and gives rise to the common name of yellowwood". (#144)
Author's NotesHave only seen this plant a few times when in bloom. Very impressive at this time.
Notes & Reference#01-Manual of Woody Landscape Plants (Michael Dirr), #245-Trees for American Gardens (Donald Wyman), #144-Missouri Botanical Gardens web site (
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