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Last Update 06/03/08

Plant of the Month


 Golden Rain Tree, Soapberry

The Golden Rain Tree or Koelreuteria blooms only once a year, but is very spectacular when it does.  The plant is native to China, Korea and Japan.  Of the family Sapindaceae  it is cultivated for its beautiful fragrant flowers and papery, reddish-pink seed capsules.

Koelreuteria Flowers

Plant Facts:

Common Name:   Golden Rain Tree, Soapberry

Botanical Name:   Koelreuteria

Family:  Sapindaceae 

Plant Type:  Large, mostly evergreen tree (in warm weather)

Origin: China, Korea and Japan

Zones: 5 - 11, varies with species

Height:  40'

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: Medium

Soil Requirements:  Average, well-drained soil

Water Requirements: Requires regular watering

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade

Form:  Medium triangular or pyramidal tree

Leaves:  2" long, bright green

Flowers: Four-petaled, golden, star-like, blooms September to October

Fruits: Papery, bladder-like, reddish-pink, triangular seed pods

Pests or diseases:  None major

Uses:  Specimen plant

Bad Habits: Flowers attract many bees

Cost:  $$ -- Very reasonable

Propagation:  Seeds, very easy

Sources:  Tropical Look: An Encyclopedia of Dramatic Landscape Plants; Flowering Trees of Florida

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