Koelreuteria bipinnata Ch fl tree flowersThis small deciduous tree native to China is grown as a shade tree as well as for its showy yellow flowers in summer and its lovely rose pink seed capsules in fall. The yellow-green leaves are bipinnately compound and turn an attractive bronze or bright yellow in the fall. Each leaf is made up of leaflets two to four inches long. The yellow flowers are borne in showy terminal panicles twelve to twentyfour inches long in late summer and are followed by clusters of rose-pink seed capusuls one and half to three inches long. Each capusle consists of papery sacs containing small nut like seeds. They are pink at first but gradually turn orange and then tan as they persist into winter. The wood tends to be relatively weak and pruning is necessary to develop a strong structure. Chinese flame tree makes an excellent shade or specimen tree.

Type: Flowering small tree

Outstanding Features: Flowers, fruits

Form: Multi-stemmed, broad canopy

Growth Rate: Moderate to Rapid

Bloom: Yellow flowers in terminal panicles 12-24″ long in late summer followed by showy rose -pink seed pods in fall

Size: 20-30′ H x 25-35′ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Tolerant of a wide range of soils but prefers average, medium moist, well-drained

Care: Prune when young to develop a strong structure.

Hardiness: Zones 7-9

Pests and Diseases: None of signficiance but susceptible to scale, beetle boreres, verticillum wilt

Propagation: Seed.

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By Karen