|Family: Leguminosae or Fabaceae (View Members of Leguminosae)
Genus and species: Cladrastis kentukea
Leaves: The leaves are pinnately compound and are 8-12" (20-30cm) long containing 7-11 leaflets, each 2.5-4" (6-10cm) long. (View Measured Leaf) The leaflets are elliptical, almost paired, have short stalks, and hairless. They are shiny green on top, paler beneath.(View Leaves)
Bark: The bark is gray and very smooth. If cut into, it reveals the yellow wood it covers.(View Bark) The twigs are brown and hairless.
Fruit: The fruit is a flat, narrow pod, about 2-3.25" (5-8cm) long. They are light brown, and usually hang in clusters. Each contains about 2-6 beanlike seeds. Pods containing seeds are common among members of the Leguminosae family.(View Fruit)
Tree: The tree can grow to be 50' (15m) tall, has an short trunk and a rounded, broad crown, as pictured to the left.
Range and Habitat: These trees are commonly found from Virginia west to Oklahoma. However, they are also commonly planted in the Northeast. They are usually found in moist, rich soils.
Yellowwood Tree (Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 9/30/02)