Can be easily mistaken for :
Scotch Laburnum (Laburnum alpinum) but that is less downy, the flower-spikes are slightly longer at 25-35cm the flowers in the flower-spikes more widely spaced and the seed pods have wings.
Voss's Laburnum (Laburnum ×watereri) which is intermediate in character between its parents in regard to hairiness, and the wing on the seed pods but with longer flower-spikes than
Scotch Laburnum and with larger flowers more closer together than
Hybridises with :
Scottish Laburnum (Laburnum alpinum) to produce
Voss's Laburnum (Laburnum ×watereri).
Laburnum contains several toxic lupane-type alkaloids such as HydroxyNorCytisine and Cytisine, N-3-OxoButyl-Cytisine, Lupinine, Lupanine and Sparteine, all quinolizidones. The seeds are especially poisonous to humans goats and horses, but not to hares or deer.
The wood from very old specimens can be used as a substitute for ebony, since it is hard and heavy. But Laburnum is a fairly short-lived tree, living for only maybe 20 years before dying. It is a popular garden tree, although most planted specimens are of the hybrid between
Scottish Laburnum (Laburnum alpinum) and Laburnum (Laburnum anagyroides), as the above photos may be.
Habitat - self-sown on waysides, rough ground, road and railway banks, the edges of woodland, and sometimes as hedges especially in the West where it used to be planted for hedging.