Characteristics of Taiwanese Rain Tree (Koelreuteria elegans) in the Wild

Koelreuteria elegans
The Taiwanese rain tree or Flamegold rain tree is an endemic species of Taiwan tree that grows to medium size with a height of 15-17 meters.

This tree is planted widely throughout the tropics and subtropics of the world as a shade tree for roads.


Characteristics of Taiwanese Rain Tree Leaf

Koelreuteria elegans Leaf
Source : Liao

The leaves are very large bipinnate, 25-60 cm long, and 15-44 cm wide, which are alternately arranged along the stem. These leaves rest on the petiole and have several branches (pinnae), each carrying 8-17 leaflets.


Characteristics of Taiwanese Rain Tree Flower

Koelreuteria elegans Flower
Source : Juan

The flowers are small, 20 mm long, and appear in clusters of branches at the ends of the stem. It is butter yellow with five petals of varying lengths. Each flower contains seven to eight pale yellow stamens with hairy white filaments.

The Taiwanese rain tree blooms in early to mid-summer.


Characteristics of Taiwanese Rain Tree Fruit

Koelreuteria elegans Fruit
Source :

The fruit is a three-lobe capsule and is purplish-brown in a color that will split open and drop several rounds, black seeds.


Characteristics of Taiwanese Rain Tree

Koelreuteria elegans Tree
Source :

This tree can grow to 17 meters tall with serrated, pubescent branches. The leathery bark is grayish-brown with long grooves. Younger stems are pale brown or greenish-brown, fuzzy, and covered with small, pale brown spots.

This species generally spreads to new areas through deliberate cultivation. However, the Taiwanese rain tree is considered a weed in many parts of the world, particularly in Brisbane, Australia, and Hawaii.


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