Cladrastis kentukea

American Yellowwood


American Yellowwood is a medium-sized native deciduous tree with upright branching and a broad rounded crown.  The bright green compound foliage turns bright yellow in fall.  Intensely fragrant white wisteria-like flower bloom in drooping clusters in late spring.  Grows best with full sun and well-drained soils.  Drought tolerant once established.  Young trees will not flower for its first 8-10 years, then blooms may occur every two to three years.




30’ - 50’


40’ - 55'



USDA Hardiness Zone: 

4 - 8


Full SunPart Sun

Bloom Color: 


Season of Interest: 


MAINTENANCE NEEDS:  Low Maintenance.  No serious pests or diseases.  Wilt may occur.  Late spring frost can damage blooms and prevent flowering that year.  Not a yearly bloomer.  Prune in summer to avoid bleeding.  Branches are fragile, protect from strong winds.

 LANDSCAPE USES:  Accents or Group Plantings, BordersWoodland GardensNaturalized AreasFoundation Plantings.

COMPANION PLANTS: Dogwood, ServiceberryBuckeye

IMAGES: Rbrechko46-101-5027 Lviv Rudnytskoho 12 Cladrastis Kentukea RBCC BY-SA 4.0, (2) Rachel White, Cladrastis kentukea Yellowwood turning yellow in fallCC BY-SA 3.0, (3) Сергій Криниця (Haidamac)Cladrastis kentukeaCC BY-SA 3.0, (4) Photo (c)2006 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man), Cladrastis kentukea Yellowwood Branch 2000pxCC BY-SA 2.5, (5) Photo by Plant Image LibraryCladrastis kentukea (American yellowwood, Yellowwood, Yellow-wood), (6) Agnieszka Kwiecień, NovaCladrastis kentukea Strączyn żółty 2017-10-15 01CC BY-SA 4.0

*As plants have ranges in appearance they may not appear as the images shown.