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LABURNUM

GOLDEN RAIN

Laburnum anagyroides

Pea Family [Fabaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june

category
category8Trees
 
category
category8Deciduous
 
category
category8Broadleaf
 
status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
inner
inner8orange
 
morph
morph8zygo
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
type
typeZspiked
 
stem
stem8round
 
smell
smell8sweet
sweet
toxicity
toxicityZhigh
 



25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
A tree to 8m. The flowers hang down (pendent) in racemes and always make your eyes look out of focus. Chinese Wisteria in background.


25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The hanging spikes are between 15-30cm long and interspersed by a few leaves.


25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Flowers bright yellow.


25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Branches gracefully drooping slightly with their pendulous decorations.


25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Flowers emerge on all sides of the raceme. Lowest flowers last to open.


25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Leaves largish and in triplets (trefoil).


25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Leaves downy beneath.


25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Stalks have appressed hairs. Pale-green sepal tube. Un-opened flower buds are banana shaped.


25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Pea-type flowers with a large banner, two wings enclosing the largely-hidden keel which is also in two parts, 5 petals in all. The banner may have orange flecks in the middle.


25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The two wings concealing the banner.


25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Side-view.


25th May 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Bark is satin brown.


6th Oct 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Fruits hang down in pods.


6th Oct 2013, Castlefields canal basin, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Hairs have come off the pods when brown. The pods contain a few very poisonous seeds.


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 Laburnum.

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.


  Laburnum anagyroides  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Fabaceae  

Distribution
 family8Pea family8Fabaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Laburnum
Laburnum
(Laburnums)

LABURNUM

GOLDEN RAIN

Laburnum anagyroides

Pea Family [Fabaceae]