*Note- update on the Littleleaf Linden post—Les I still believe you have a Littleleaf.
The Koelreuteria bipinnata (kole-roo-TEER-ee-uh bye-pih-NAY-tuh) is one of three Koelreuteria from Asia and is a small to medium sized tree. The leaves are bipinnate which means that it is a pinnate leave where each leaflet is then pinnate as well. See my very poorly drawn diagram. The leaflets are alternate, a dark green serrated ovate.
Common names for this tree are Bougainvillea Golden Rain Tree or Chinese Flame-tree. It has a spreading shaped growth habit, reaching heights 40- 60 feet. It can also be seen as a multi-stemmed specimen. It is throughout the South, hardy to zones 7- 10 and is a good neighborhood tree.
The yellow flowers appear mid to late summer on terminal panicles and are fragrant. Later two inch long 'Chinese lantern' shaped paper husked seed pods appear. These pods are pink and retain their color after drying. (Some use them in flower arranging) The leaves are yellow in the fall and with the pink lanterns make a very nice addition to the fall landscape.
Close-up of flowers-
This tree is self pollinating and can produce fertile seeds that will germinate. Some areas are looking at this as a possible invasive tree. We have this tree and the Koelreuteria paniculata in the Learning Garden and there are small seedlings in the area of these trees. They are easily pulled. Not sure why, but the paniculata didn't bloom this summer (or I missed it, which is unlikely). The bright yellow flowers are striking against the dark green leaves and this makes it a very nice specimen tree in the landscape.
Here are three places with more information about this pretty tree. Henderson State University , University of Florida and North Carolina State .
Sorry about the lateness in posting this ---an old senile dog last night wanted in and out and in and out and in and out….hard to concentrate.
Next week's tree is the Zelkova.