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Koelreuteria paniculata 'Fastigiata': 'Fastigiata' Goldenrain Tree1

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson 2


This cultivar of goldenrain tree probably grows 30 feet tall with a four- to six-foot spread. Although the species has a reputation for being weak wooded, this selection may stay together due to the tight, compact growth habit. It is rarely attacked by pests and grows in a wide range of soils, including high pH soils. Goldenrain tree tolerates dryness and casts little shade because of the narrow growth habit. It would make a good tree particularly where overhead or soil space is limited, due to its narrow crown and adaptive abilities. The tree grows moderately and bears few flowers. It is not as showy as Koelreuteria bipinnata but is much more cold-tolerant. However, it is less cold tolerant than the species.

Figure 1. Middle-aged Koelreuteria paniculata 'Fastigiata': 'Fastigiata' goldenrain tree
Figure 1.  Middle-aged Koelreuteria paniculata 'Fastigiata': 'Fastigiata' goldenrain tree

General Information

Scientific name: Koelreuteria paniculata
Pronunciation: kole-roo-TEER-ee-uh pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh
Common name(s): 'Fastigiata' goldenrain tree
Family: Sapindaceae
USDA hardiness zones: 5B through 9B (Fig. 2)
Origin: not native to North America
Invasive potential: According to the UF/IFAS Assessment of the Status of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas (Fox et al. 2005), Koelreuteria paniculata Fastigata (Fastigata goldenrain tree) may be used with caution in the central and southern zones of Florida, but should be managed to prevent its escape (counties are listed by zone at:; and is not considered a problem species and may be used in north Florida.
Uses: street without sidewalk; specimen; sidewalk cutout (tree pit); tree lawn 3-4 feet wide; tree lawn 4-6 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft wide; urban tolerant; highway median
Availability: not native to North America

Figure 2. Range
Figure 2.  Range


Height: 20 to 30 feet
Spread: 4 to 7 feet
Crown uniformity: symmetrical
Crown shape: columnar, upright/erect
Crown density: moderate
Growth rate: moderate
Texture: coarse


Leaf arrangement: alternate (Fig. 3)
Leaf type: even-pinnately compound, odd-pinnately compound
Leaf margin: lobed, incised, serrate
Leaf shape: ovate, oblong
Leaf venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: deciduous
Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches, 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: yellow
Fall characteristic: showy

Figure 3. Foliage
Figure 3.  Foliage


Flower color: yellow
Flower characteristics: very showy


Fruit shape: oval, elongated
Fruit length: 1 to 3 inches
Fruit covering: dry or hard
Fruit color: green, brown
Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; not showy; typically one trunk; thorns
Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure
Breakage: resistant
Current year twig color: brown
Current year twig thickness: thick
Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun
Soil tolerances: sand; loam; clay; acidic; alkaline; well-drained; extended flooding
Drought tolerance: high
Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate


Roots: not a problem
Winter interest: no
Outstanding tree: yes
Ozone sensitivity: unknown
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: susceptible
Pest resistance: resistant to pests/diseases

Use and Management

The root system is coarse with only a few but large roots, so transplant when young or from containers. Do not transplant in the fall as success rate is reportedly limited. Considered a city tolerant tree due to tolerance to air pollution and ability to withstand drought, heat and alkaline soils. It also tolerates some salt spray but requires well-drained soil.


Occasional attacks by scale may be seen. Sprays of horticultural oil help control overwinter stages. Boxelder bug can be a menace.


Koelreuteria is subject to few diseases. A canker causes dead and sunken areas on the bark. Coral pink fruiting bodies develop on the diseased bark. Prune out infected branches and fertilize to maintain tree health.

Verticillium wilt attacks Koelreuteria. The disease causes wilting and death of leaves on infected branches. Eventually the entire tree may be killed. Fertilize to stimulate growth. There are no chemical controls.


1. This document is ENH-498, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised April 2007. Reviewed March 2014. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #ENH-498

Date: 4/28/2019

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