Cladrastis sinensis

7 Oct

Cladrastis sinensis (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Cladrastis sinensis (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 20m

Eventual Spread: 10m

Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b

Family: Fabaceae

Cladrastis sinensis is a small/ medium sized deciduous tree with a rounded to open habit. Its mid green leaves are pinnate, up to 30cm long, with up to 9 leaflets. Its leaflets are ovate with entire margins, up to 8cm long and 4cm broad. Its leaves turn yellow before they fall in autumn. Its bark is grey/ brown and textured by raised lenticels with orange centers. Its white/ pale pink flowers are produced in racemes which are up to 30cm long. Its fruit is a green/ grey pod which is up to 8cm long, each containing up to 6 seeds, these persist on the tree through the winter months.

Cladrastis sinensis Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Cladrastis sinensis Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Cladrastis sinensis, commonly known as the Chinese Yellow Wood, is native to eastern Asia, including China.

The etymological root of the binomial name Cladrastis is derived from the Greek klados meaning ‘branch’ and eukataktos meaning ‘fragile’, in reference to its brittle wood. Sinensis is derived from the Latin meaning ‘from China’.

The landscape architect may find Cladrastis sinensis useful as a small to medium specimen tree with attractive fragrant flowers and colourful autumn leaf colour.

Cladrastis sinensis Bark (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Cladrastis sinensis Bark (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Cladrastis sinensis flowers are attractive to pollinating insects, including bees.

Cladrastis sinensis prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Cladrastis sinensis requires little maintenance.

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Landscape Architecture

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