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Golden chain tree

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Golden chain tree
Laburnum body Design.jpg
Scientific Classification
Species
  • L. alpinum
  • L. anagyroides
  • L. waterei [2]

The Golden chain trees are species that belong to the taxonomic genus Laburnum. They are a group of deciduous trees whose name comes from the long yellow strands of flowers that grows to be about fifteen to twenty feet in length. It is a perennial, and reproduces by dropping its seeds in seed pods. These can then either be released from the pod or stay for another year or so. These plants grow in many different places, all the way from over Europe, to the Pacific Northwest. Their climate simply requires some sun and mostly shade. These plants are poisonous if consumed, with just about every part of the plant having some sort of poison. All in all, they are beautiful plants when in bloom, but caution is advised when dealing with them.

Body Design

The Beautiful Golden Chain

Being a deciduous tree, the Laburnum loses its leaves and grows them back throughout the seasons. The Golden chain is a beautiful tree that grows to be about fifteen to twenty feet tall, and about ten to twelve feet wide at the widest points. The leaves of this tree are bright yellow and are very unique compared to normal leaves. The leaves are arranged in a trifoliate way, meaning there are three leaflets. Yellow flowers cascade down, in a chain-like way, making it look like a golden chain. All parts of this plant, the leaves, stem and all, are poisonous. Symptoms can be severe but very rarely are they fatal.[3]

The trunk of these trees is very dark and rich in color, almost black-ish. The trunk and the whole tree are very durable and not very susceptible to insect damage, like termites. The trunk is by itself for about the first four to five feet up the tree, but after that, the flowers from the golden chain cascade down and cover most of the branches so that they cannot be seen.

Life Cycle

Description

The Laburnum goes through its life cycle just like most other trees, performing a normal process. Beautiful blossoms, which catch the attention of everyone who looks at the tree, take about ten to twelve days to bloom. The season for these blossoms to bloom is roughly from mid spring to early summer. After this, in the fall, the tree will release seed pods. These pods can be collected, dried, and then put into pots to start their own growing. In the mid spring, these trees can be fully transplanted into the ground. These plants should be grown in well-drained soil, where they will thrive. These plants on average live for about twenty years. [4].

The Laburnum is a perennial, and reproduction happens through the seeds. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insects. The seed pods discussed earlier appear in mid-June and usually are mature by the end of August. Seeds will either fall right out of the open pods, or they will stay in the hard pods for at least a year more. These seeds have a hard coat that will delay germination. This means that when put in gardens, the seeds are scarified to promote germination, using different acidic techniques. Other ways to propagate this plant are through layering or grafting. [5].

Ecology

The Laburnum can be found all over the world, from Europe to the Pacific Northwest. Its climate is a moderate climate with all different seasons. Washington state's weather suits it very nicely, with lots of shade and peaks of sunshine. The Laburnum does best when in well drained sites, often ones that are moist. It can also tolerate higher pH sites. Also, in the Northwest, this plant is pest free, so it has no real difficulties living.

Poison

Description

The Laburnum is quite a poisonous plant. This plant contains cytosine, which is a quinolizidine alkaloid that’s effects are close to nicotine but not quite as strong. Every part of this plant is poisonous, from the root to the seedpod. The seedpod is actually the most harmful part of the plant, but children may mistake it for a peapod and ingest it, as the seedpods look very much like pea-pods. Rarely, there are few or no symptoms when this plant is ingested. However, most of the side effects from the Laburnum include but are not limited to: intense sleepiness, vomiting, convulsive movements, coma, slight frothing at the mouth and unequally dilated pupils. Sometimes, diarrhea can be very severe, and the convulsions are rarely markedly tetanic.[6].

References

  1. Laburnum Medik. "USDA" Web. May 17, 2013 (Date-of-Access).
  2. Laburnum "Wikispecies" Web. June 2nd, 2013 (Date-of-Access).
  3. Plantfiles: Golden Chain Tree "Dave's Garden" Web. May 17, 2013 (Date-of-Access).
  4. What is a Golden Chain Tree "WiseGEEK" Web. May 27, 2013 (Date-of-Access).
  5. Golden Chain Tree "Daff" Web. May 27, 2013 (Date-of-Access).
  6. Laburnum anagyroides, common laburnum "The Poison Garden" Web. May 15, 2013 (Date-of-Access).