Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Trees, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: dry, moist
Soil Description: neutral, rich, loam, sand
Bloom Time: May, June
Bloom Color: white, green
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: colonizing, drought tolerant, edible, fall interest, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, poisonous, shade tree
Pricing & Availability
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Gymnocladus dioicusAlso known as:
Gymnocladus dioicus is easily recognizable by its rough, scaly, dark brown bark, and by its large bipinnate compound leaves that give it a tropical feel. Flowers are yellowish green, somewhat showy and fragrant. Plants are dioecious, meaning the trees will be either male or female. Female trees produce dark brown bean pods that will persist through winter. Leaves turn yellow and drop without much fanfare. New foliage appears late in spring, and drops early in fall, leaving the tree bare for about half the year. The genus name is from Greek gymnos meaning naked, and cladus meaning branch.
This species is easy to grow in rich, well-drained soils. Avoid heavy clays. Trees tend to produce suckers, which should be removed unless the creation of a thicket is desired. Mature specimens make good shade trees for open spaces, lawns or parks. It does well in sand-based loam, and is adaptable to urban environments where it will tolerate air pollution and salty runoff from the streets. Male trees are often more desirable because of their lack of fruit. Blooms May or June. Zones 4-8
Propagate by root division, transplanting suckers, or from scarified seed.
The raw bean-like seeds are very toxic. They are however edible once cooked, and where often roasted as a coffee substitute. Trees produce high quality, reddish-brown lumber, that can be used in cabinetry.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Endangered: NY
|Species||Gymnocladus dioicus||Kentucky coffeetree|