Previous species
Previous Species

Next Species
Next Species

Home Page

Order CD-ROMs from the site

Tell a Friend

Gardening Books

Gardening Catalogs


Kentucky Coffee Tree
Scientific Name: Gymnocladus dioicus (L.) K. Koch
Family: Fabaceae
Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus  dioicus)
Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 2: 340. Courtesy of Kentucky Native Plant Society.
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 1-3,7-10,12-16,18-21
USDA: 4-10

Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial sun

Origin: Eastern USA

Growth Habits: Large shade tree, up to 50 feet tall (15 m) or more; very large leaf, 1 to 3 feet long (30-90 cm), alternate, bipinnately compound

Watering Needs: Little water when established

Propagation: Seeds, rooted cuttings

Raw leaves and seeds are toxic. The grilled seeds have been used as coffee by the early pioneers (hence the name).

Blooming Habits:
Generally dioecious, green-white to blue-white, fragrant flowers. The female inflorescences are up to 10 inches long (25 cm) and pyramidally shaped, males are 3 to 4 inches long (7-10 cm), in May and June. The fruit are reddish-brown, flattened, thickened pod, 3 to 8 inches long (7-20 cm), 1.5 to 2 inches wide (4-5 cm), with 6 or more dark brown seeds in a sticky pulp. The fruit litter might be a chore to pick up at the end of the winter. 'Espresso' is a seedless cultivar.

Fruiting Habits:

Sponsors: Michigan Bulb - 120 x 60 Lawns Banner! Gurney's 120 x 60 A

We do get a small commission out of these sponsors that helps financing the website.  Let us know if you are satisfied or dissatisfied of their services, since obviously we are trying to advertise only for reputable garden supply companies.  They might be helpful to get plants not generally available at the local garden center, getting a new and unusual gardening tool or get a discount Better Homes and Gardens magazine subscription.


Desert Tropicals Home Page | List of All the Plants | More in the Fabaceae family | Tell your friends about this page

Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

1998-2005 Philippe Faucon, All Rights Reserved.