Common Laburnum

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Common laburnum

Scientific name: Laburnum anagyroides
Common laburnum is an introduced species, planted in parks and gardens. It is most recognisable in flower - its hanging bunches of yellow blooms giving it the name 'Golden rain'. It is highly poisonous.

Species information

Statistics

Height: 7m

Conservation status

Introduced, non-native species.

When to see

January to December

About

Common laburnum is a small tree, introduced into the UK in 1560 and often planted in parks and gardens. It flowers in May and June when it produces large, hanging bunches of bright yellow flowers, giving this beautiful tree its other common name of 'Golden rain'. As a member of the pea family, the fruits of this species are typical 'pea pods', but are twisted and black.

How to identify

Common laburnum is recognisable for its impressive displays of hanging bunches of bright yellow flowers; these turn into shiny, black peapods.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

All parts of Common laburnum are extremely poisonous, but the pea-like seeds are particularly attractive to children. If ingested, they can cause nausea and vomiting, and can be lethal in large doses (15 seeds or more).

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.