Chinese Flame Tree (Koelreuteria bipinnata)

Chinese Flame Tree (Koelreuteria bipinnata)

As its name says, the Chinese Flame Tree is native to China. It’s medium to large-sized and can be recognized by its beautiful flowers that bloom throughout the whole summer, which is quite unusual for a tree.

The Chinese Flame Tree is also known as the Chinese Golden Rain tree, because of the exquisite spectacle it offers each year. It has beautiful golden yellow blossoms that fall off the tree when the wind blows in the form of a delicate golden shower of petals. Alongside the blooms, you can often see the fruit, which resembles tiny, carmine-red paper lanterns which later turn into a powdery pink. The Chinese Flame tree is a true beauty in any garden.

It's Quite a Sturdy Tree

This tree is not long-lived, surviving for up to 150 years. However, it’s a fast grower. Chinese flame trees can grow up to 20-40 feet high, and 15-30 feet wide. It has a medium to high growth rate, reaching full size in about 7 to 10 years.

It has an umbrella shape and its canopy provides good shade during the summer. Its foliage is lost during seasonal change and turns to yellow and gold during fall.

It tolerates soil that is poor in nutrition, full sun, heat, drought, and salty air. It grows magnificently in the Southern part of the US and is successfully used in cities because of its resistance to pollution. It’s recommended to use acidic soil when planting a Chinese flame tree.

It's a Low Maintenance Tree

Caring for a Chinese flame tree includes pruning, fertilizing each Spring, and keeping a mulched area around it of 1 foot in diameter for each inch of tree trunk diameter. Otherwise, it does not need special care and will thrive in conditions that can be harsh for other trees.


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