American Yellowwood

Scientific Name: Cladastris kentuckea

American Yellowwood Tree

Attributes

Deciduous
Flowering

Plant Family

Leguminosae

Origin

Southeastern and central United States

Form

Wide-spreading crown, typically low branching

Plant Size

50 feet tall

Description

The wood of the American yellowwood is indeed yellow. Bark from the yellowwood's roots was used to produce a yellow dye by early settlers to North America, while wood from the trunk was used to make gun stocks. The American yellowwood is in the pea family and produces fragrant flowers in early June, blooming heavily every two to three years. The flowers are proceeded by seedpods that closely resemble those of field peas. There are fewer than a dozen American yellowwood trees in Central Park.

American Yellowwood Leaf

Leaves

8-12 inches long, alternate arrangement; rows of leaflets; individual leaflets have sub-opposite arrangement; five to nine leaflets (usually seven); smooth edges
American Yellowwood Fruit

Fruit

2-4 inches long, .5 inch wide; flat brown pod containing small, brown, hard-coated seeds; ripen early fall; persistent
American Yellowwood Flower

Flower

8-14 inches hanging clusters, pea-like creamy to white; somewhat fragrant bloom late spring to early summer
American Yellowwood Bark

Bark

Very smooth, often wrinkled, gray