Golden chain tree

Laburnum anagyroides

Native to the mountains of central Europe, golden chain tree is a popular garden ornamental that produces colourful displays of yellow flowers. All parts of the golden chain tree are highly toxic.

Common names 
Also known as: Golden chain tree,
Flowering time 
flowering occurs from May to June
Native to the mountains of central Europe.
State declaration 
Council declaration 
SIL – Special Investigation List
Known distribution 

Multiple golden chain cultivars and hybrids exist. While golden chain tree has naturalised in parts of Europe and New Zealand, the risk of it doing so in Queensland is relatively low. If golden rain tree does escape cultivation, it is most likely to grow wild in cooler, upland areas of South East Queensland.


L. anagyroides is native to mountains of central Europe and is best adapted to temperate climates. However, it can survive in sub-tropical climates. It can grow in a range of soil types, provided the soil is well drained and does not dry out for extended periods. Its light green foliage is susceptible to sunburn during hot summer days and flower buds can be damaged by late spring frost. It can tolerate strong winds, and can grow in cold-exposed situations. It cannot tolerate maritime exposure. Prefering full sun to part shade it will tolerate shade. 


L. anagyroides is an upright, sparsely branched deciduous tree. It grows 4–9 m tall and
3–4 m wide at the crown (Figure 1)

Impact and control methods 

All parts of golden chain tree are toxic and can cause poisoning if ingested.

Stem and leaves 

Leaves are trifoliate, 3–7 cm long, comprised of alternate leaflets, each 3–8 cm long and
2.5 cm wide, elliptic-lanceolate or obovata in shape.

Flowers and fruits 

Flowers are yellow, densely packed and arranged in pendulous racemes 10–20 cm long The fruit is a green flattened pod, 4–7.5 cm long and 7.5 mm wide, with more or less winged sutures. Each pod contains 2–7 kidney-shaped, dark brown seeds  Flowers are hermaphrodite and pollinated by insects Seed. Pods appear in June and mature by the end of August. Pods are dehiscent and remain on the plant for some time. Some pods open in late September, but many will open the following spring. Seeds either fall out of the open pods, or remain in the pods for a year or more 

Reproduction and dispersal 

L. anagyroides is a perennial and reproduces from seeds. Seeds have a hard, impermeable coat that delays germination