Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus diocus)

Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus diocus) (13590 bytes)       Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus diocus) is a stunning tree in all seasons with no serious pests or diseases. It provides dappled shade and grows to 50-90 ft. A good tree for our area but underused, providing unique foliage, fragrant flowers and light shade. Coffeetree has a life expectancy of 100 years and is very adaptable and to urban conditions, especially   heat, drought, very alkaline pH soils, and soil compaction.
kentucky coffeetree fall foliage (4528 bytes) Foliage is dark green, turning bright yellow in fall.
flowers (5706 bytes)   

Flowers are fragrant but often hidden in the emerging foliage. Blooms late May to early June.

kentucky coffee tree seedpods (5093 bytes)

Seedpods are legume-like and were used by settlers to make "coffee" in the absence of actual coffee beans.

kentucky coffee tree seedpods in winter (4119 bytes)   

Seedpods remain on the tree, adding to its winter interest.

kentucky coffee tree bark  (4474 bytes) Bark is deeply furrowed, gray and scaly.

Photos: Judy Sedbrook

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CSU/Denver County  Extension Master Gardener 2010
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Date last revised: 01/05/2010