The goldenrain tree can be beautiful in spring and in autumn. This introductory photo was taken in June when the tree was in bloom. By autumn the blossoms have become lantern-like cinnamon colored pods. It is at this time I love the tree most. By the time winter is over, though, I’m not so happy with the tree. These photos will show you why.
Because I think these photos can be voted up and down, I have also numbered each one in the title so that if I mention a photo number to refer to you can find it in the title to see the right photo.
This photo gives you a closer look at the lantern-like seed pods. If you look closely at that open pod, you will see a pair of black seeds inside. Some of the seeds have already fallen out on the ground. Each pod has several seeds, and you can see that if you peek in through the slits of the slightly open pods.
I found these today while preparing the ground to plant some herb seeds and spreading bone meal around my irises.. Do you see the one hidden in the Lamb's Ears leaf on the left? Do you see the three on the right near the green blades of grassy weed? There are many more I must have planted while working because I couldn't get them picked up. Everywhere I look there seem to be dozens. This is the reason I don't like the tree.
This is how the ground looks under a goldenrain tree. Do you see the small round black seeds? Do you see all the pods, each of which expels several of these seeds every year between autumn and winter? These seeds are the reason this tree has made Matt Ritter's list of the ten trees most likely to trip you on the sidewalk. (A Californian's Guide to the Trees Among Us, Heydey Press) The seeds are like little ball bearings, and no one wants to step on those.
This large goldenrain tree seedling is hiding between the star jasmine plant and the rue (front). Can you spot it? This one is bigger than the other one in Photo 7. That's because it grew while it was hiding. It was harder to get out than the smaller one.
So although during some seasons the tree is beautiful, in winter and early spring I love to hate it. It turns my yard into a potential forest of its progeny. Sometimes I miss them until they are too large to get out by the roots and they have to be cut out from the middle of the plant they were hiding under while they grew. This most often turns out to be one of the neighboring oleander bushes, which you can see in Photo 2
Is there a tree you love to hate?