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Kentucky Coffee Tree

Gymnocladus dioicus


Kentucky coffee tree is a medium sized tree that usually grows 15-25 meters tall. It is found in the southern Great Lakes region and New York, south to Oklahoma and Arkansas, and west to Kansas and Nebraska. It prefers rich open, moist lowlands and is often found in floodplains. Kentucky coffee tree  hasn’t been seen in Canada since before 1950, but it is still used in landscaping outside its natural habitat. The raw seeds are poisonous, but can be roasted to make a substitute for coffee.


Twice pinnately-divided leaves with 3-7 pairs of branches on a sturdy central stalk. 30-90 cm long. Usually 70 leaflets.


Reddish-brown, leathery, flat, thick pods. 8-25 cm long. Persist through winter.


Mature bark dark grey, hard with thin ridges that curl out.


Greenish-white, 5-petaled flowers. Flowers in clusters, forming in May-June.

186 Trees

Heritage Tree

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