Laburnum x watereri- Goldenchain Tree


General: An oval to rounded shrub or small tree growing 15 to 25′ that usually loses its lower branches.

Leaves: Alternate trifoliate and clover like growing to 3″ long. Leaves are green with a bluish tinge in the summer, no fall color to speak of.

Flower: Pea like, yellow and fragrant flowers are borne on 15″ long racemes in June.

Fruit: Pods in the fall. Not ornamental.

Attributes:  Fabulous in a shrub border when in flower. Not for use as a specimen only because it is very unornamental when not in flower. Works well as a background shrub, when planted in groupings or when trained over an arbor or trellis.


Hardiness:  Zones 5-7

Growing Conditions:  Prefers moist, well drained soils and shade during the hot part of the day. Can be injured by both extreme heat and humidity as well as the cold. Short lived shrub.

Maintenance: Can be pruned following flower. Susceptible to a number of insects and diseases. Twig blight is a big issue as well as canker, leaf spot aphids and meal bug. ALL parts of this shrub are toxic.

Transplanting: Easily transplanted to well-draining soil in a protected site.

Our Experience

Experience at Great Hill

We’ve had a few laburnum on Great Hill, and only one survives (barely) to this day. While incredible in flower, they are very unkempt and unattractive from mid summer until they go dormant in the fall. Would definitely recommend using as an accent shrub at the back of the border where it is easily hid nine months out of the year.

Laburnum Bloom Data

YearBud BreakFull BloomBloom Drop
2022May 11May 23May 28