Very close to extinct in it's native China this is one of the worlds rarest trees and is a close relative of the Kentucky Coffee Tree in the U.S. Most in the wild are growing in poor soil conditions in the most isolated places in the worlds most crowded countries and the eventual size is unknown. It most certainly does enjoy the hot humid summers. Truly tropical appearance in a temperate climate.
Genus - Gymnocladus
Species - Chinensis
Common name - Soap tree
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 8 - 10
Height - 60'-85' / 18 - 26 m
Spread - 15-20' / 4-6 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Ornamental decidious
Exposure - Full sun
Growth rate - Slow
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, loam, sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average Water, drought tolerant
Landscape uses - Shade Trees, Street Trees
Germination rate - 75%
Bloom season - Late Spring, Early Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Lilac
|Seed best sown in a greenhouse in early spring.
Scarification and pre-soaking the seed for 24 hours in warm water will improve germination. Make sure the seed has swollen after soaking, soak it again if it has not and, if it still does not swell, try filing away some of the seedcoat but be careful not to damage the embryo. Sow.
As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into fairly deep individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection against the cold for their first couple of winters outdoors.