Perhaps I have seen this tree before, but not in bloom. When it is in bloom, it is spectacular.
Yellowwood, Cladrastis kentukea (formerly Cladrastis lutea) is a native tree in the Pea/Bean family. The trunk branches form low on the tree, creating a multi-stemmed tree.
The fragrant blooms are white clusters with yellow centers hanging on long stalks. It is monoecious and blooms late spring to early summer. According to Duke, it takes up to ten years for it to mature enough to bloom. It does not bloom reliably every year, which is disappointing.
The leaves are compound, arranged alternately along the branch. Each leaf has 5- 11 leaflets also arranged alternately. This differs from Ash, which is arranged opposite.
The bark is smooth and thin, gray in color. According to UNCONN the bark is prone to sun scald so this tree is happier in a shady spot.
These photos were taken on the study trip as well, but at the James Madison University Edith J. Carrier Arboretum. This is a beautiful place and also well worth a visit.
In addition to the above links, my references include VA Tech, Wildflower Center, and Missouri Botanical Garden.
While going through the study trip pictures I found more tree pictures that I want to share. Next week's tree is Redbud.
words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.