Golden chain tree (Laburnum anagyroides
) is a small, upright, low-branched deciduous perennial tree or large shrub that is native to Europe. It is a popular garden and park ornamental in subtropical climates worldwide. It is notable for its profuse and showy late spring bloom of yellow flowers in dense, pendulous, wisteria-like racemes.
Golden chain tree attributes:
- Tree shape: Vase shaped - has a central trunk that branches into an upright, arching shape that's widest at the top.
- Height: 15 to 30 feet tall
- Leaves: Trifoliate, elliptical or oval-shaped; alternate leaflets; medium green, bronze, or gold.
- Flowers: Drooping clusters of golden-yellow sweatpea-shaped flowers that bloom from May to June and seed pods mature by the end of August.
- Fruit: Green to brown; large, flattened pods, containing 2 to 7 kidney-shaped dark brown seeds. Fruits develop in the fall months.
- Bark: Smooth; green
All parts of golden chain tree are highly poisonous, especially the seeds. The main toxin is cytisine, a quinolizidine, nicotine-like alkaloid that is found predominately in the flowers, seeds, and roots. Ingesting seeds in the amount of .05% per horse's body weight can be fatal.