Laburnum × watereri
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.