Mystery plant 086

This medium-sized tree is native within the eastern region of the United States.  When you can identify it, leave a comment with both the common and scientific names.  Also, share any personal story or connection you may have with this tree.


Twig and leaf buds during winter


Compound leaf during spring






Leaves in summer


Seed pods


Twigs, leaf stems and leaves in fall


ANSWER (subsequently added to this post to facilitate the “search” function for these images): Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)

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10 Responses to Mystery plant 086

  1. Conrad Harstine says:

    Yellowwood cCadrastis kentukea

  2. Evan Raskin says:

    yellow-wood, Cladrastis kentukea

  3. Ann WF says:

    I have heard this tree referred to as Kentucky Yellowwood, Cladrastis kentukea. The only place I have ever seen it is in the native plant garden at Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, NC. But I live in the Piedmont, so based on its distribution, it’s unlikely that I would see it in my region.

  4. Sara says:

    I have run into yellowwood twice (and couldn’t ID it either time), on Doris Duke’s former estate, now Duke Farms and at the arboretum at Colonial Park, both in central New Jersey. I don’t think it grows wild here.

  5. andrew says:

    This apparently grows along the Kentucky River here in central KY, but I have yet to see it in the wild.

  6. Shayan says:

    Rubinia pseudoacacia

  7. Shayan says:

    It is an invasive plant in Pakistan

  8. Norman Smith says:

    You can see a few in the Smokies and Western NC

  9. Angelyn says:

    Yes, this is Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea). The first time I saw the tree in full bloom, I was speechless with surprise at the beautiful flowers. Since then, I’ve purchased two Yellowwood trees to grace the property where I live (western NC).

    • Vic Lea says:

      To what size does it grow? Will it prosper in southern Missouri?
      The flowers and pods make it look as though it may be a relative of the Catalpa tree which I know from Iowa.
      But I knew it wasn’t that because the Catalpa has huge leaves, although they too are smooth surfaced and smooth edges. The pods could be 10 inches or so.

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