Koelreuteria paniculata (Goldenrain tree, Pride of India, or China tree) is a species of Koelreuteria native to eastern Asia, in China and Korea.
It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 17 m tall, with a broad, dome-shaped crown.
The leaves are pinnate, 15-40 cm (rarely to 50 cm) long, with 7-15 leaflets 3-8 cm long, with a deeply serrated margin; the larger leaflets at the mid-point of the leaf are sometimes themselves pinnate but the leaves are not consistently fully bipinnate as in the related Koelreuteria bipinnata.
The flowers are yellow, with four petals, growing in large terminal panicles 20-40 cm long. The fruit is a three-parted inflated bladderlike pod 3-6 cm long and 2-4 cm broad, green ripening orange to pink in autumn, containing several dark brown to black seeds 5-8 mm diameter.
There are two varieties:
- Koelreuteria paniculata var. paniculata. Northern China and Korea. Leaves single-pinnate.
- Koelreuteria paniculata var. apiculata (Rehder & E.H.Wilson) Rehder (syn. K. apiculata). Western China (Sichuan), intergrading with var. paniculata in central China. Leaves with larger leaflets commonly bipinnate.
It is popularly grown as an ornamental tree
regions all across the world because of the aesthetic appeal of its flowers, leaves and seed pods. Several cultivars
have been selected for garden planting, including 'Fastigiata' with a narrow crown, and 'September Gold', flowering in late summer.
The seeds are edible when roasted, but not commonly consumed.
In some areas, notably the eastern United States and particularly in Florida, it is considered an invasive species.