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Tree Campus: Golden Chain Tree

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Golden Chain Tree

Laburnum anagyroides (FABOIDEAE)



Central-Southern Europe



"The common laburnum is a supplemental pollen source for insects at the turn of spring and summer. Bumblebees [in South-Eastern Poland] were predominant among the insects visiting Laburnum anagyroides flowers. These insects readily foraged on laburnum flowers to gather pollen from which they formed yellow-orange pollen loads.... The flowers of the studied species have created a pump mechanism of pollen presentation, which promotes several repeated visits to the same flower by insects." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"[In J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth Setting]... the hanging clusters of yellow flowers of Laurelin are clearly reminiscent of those of the golden-chain tree (Laburnum)..." [2]

"In the British Isles, this species was also grown in the past for wood fuel and was commonly used as a hedge plant. Numerous studies conducted in different countries relate to the poisonous and medicinal properties of this taxon." [3]



"In a few papers, Laburnum anagyroides is mentioned as a species that can be used in beekeeping. Its entomophilous flowers, devoid of nectaries, only provide floral pollen to bees. This raw material is a source of protein food for insects, and its abundance near an apiary is necessary in the spring during the development of bee families." [1]

"The common laburnum (Laburnum anaoyroides Med. subfamily Papilioneideae) is widely grown as an ornamental in British gardens." [3]



[1] Stawiarz, E., & Wróblewska, A. (2013). Flowering dynamics and pollen production of Laburnum anagyroides Med. under the conditions of South-Eastern Poland. Journal of Apicultural Science, 57(2), 103-115.

[2] Judd, W. S., & Judd, G. A. (2017). Flora of Middle-Earth: plants of JRR Tolkien's legendarium. Oxford University Press.

[3] Sato, H., Tahara, S., Ingham, J. L., & Dziedzic, S. Z. (1995). Isoflavones from pods of Laburnum anagyroides. Phytochemistry39(3), 673-676.

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