Laburnum × watereri
Common name: 
Goldenchain Tree
Hybrid Goldenchain Tree
la-BER-num X wa-TER-eri
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, 12-15 ft (4-4.5 m); dense and upright, green stems.  Leaves alternate, trifoliate, each leaflet somewhat elliptic and 3-7.5 cm long, bright green.  Flowers yellow, 2 cm long, in pendulous 15-30 cm long racemes, very striking.  Fruit (pods) are noticeable in fall.
  • Sun to part shade, not particular about soil, but will not endure standing water.  The remnants of the flower clusters remain attached for months after flowers, not an attractive sight.  A short lived tree.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5      A hybrid of L. alpinum and L. anagyroides.  Hybrids between these two species occur in cultivation and in the wild.  This particular hybrid (L. × watereri) was found in the Knap Hill Nursery in England and introduced before 1864.  There are only a few cultivars known of this hybrid, one being L. × w. ‘Vossi’, which was first described in 1875 in Holland and reportedly has flower chains that are 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) long.  Although many nurseries have ‘Vossi’ in their listings they are probably a different clone since the flower chains of the plants offered are much shorter than those of ‘Vossi’ (Jacobson, 1996).
  • Laburnum species are poisonous, especially the fruit, causing vomiting, drowsiness, weakness, sweating, pallor and headaches.
  • watereri: after Waterer Nursery (England) where one form was raised.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: north end of lot behind Cordley, near loading dock.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flower cluster development

    flower cluster development

  • flower clusters

    flower clusters

  • leaves and flowers

    leaves and flowers

  • fruit development

    fruit development

  • plant habit, late summer

    plant habit, late summer

  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • winter twigs and buds

    winter twigs and buds