Laburnum Facts

Laburnum Facts
Laburnum is deciduous tree that belongs to the pea family. There are two species of laburnum that are native to Central and South Europe. Laburnum grows in colder climate, usually in the mountains and on the slopes. It requires well-drained, light soil and enough sun for the successful development. Laburnum was used in medical purposes in the past. Today, laburnum is cultivated as ornamental plant and source of high-quality wood.
Interesting Laburnum Facts:
Laburnum usually grows to the height of 23 feet.
Laburnum has multi-branched trunk that often starts to branch from the base. Tree is covered with smooth grey or olive-green bark.
Laburnum has trifoliate leaves (composed of three leaflets) with long leaf-stalks. Leaves are grey-green colored on the upper side and whitish on the bottom side due to silky, white hairs. They are alternately arranged on the branches.
Laburnum produces bright yellow flowers arranged in dense, drooping inflorescences called racemes. In some parts of the world, laburnum is planted in dense rows to create ornamental floral archway during the spring.
Laburnum is also known as "golden chain tree" and "golden rain" due to beautiful, densely packed yellow pendulous flowers.
Laburnum blooms during the spring, usually from May to June. Even though flowers contain both male (stamen) and female (pistil) reproductive organs, insects are responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Fruit of laburnum is brown pod that looks like a pea pod. Fruit appears at the beginning of the autumn and remains on the tree during the winter.
Laburnum can be propagated via seed and grafting.
All parts of laburnum (root, bark, wood, leaves, flowers, pod and seed) contain toxic substance called cytisine (alkaloid that has similar chemical structure like nicotine). Ingestion of any part of the plant may induce fatal poisoning of humans and animals (such as goats, sheep and horses).
Symptoms of laburnum poisoning include nausea, vomiting, coma, diarrhea, muscle spasms, abdominal cramps and headache. In the extreme cases, human can die one hour after consumption of laburnum due to lung paralysis.
Leaves of laburnum were used in the past in treatment of irritability, migraine, liver disorders and as an antidote for arsenic poisoning.
Wood of laburnum is dark brown colored and extremely strong. It is mostly used for the manufacture of cabinets and for decoration of furniture. Thanks to the hard structure of its wood, laburnum can be used as a substitute for the ebony and rosewood.
Wood of laburnum is also used for the production of musical instruments such as viola and some types of bagpipes.
According to the folk belief, laburnum in dream suggests that person needs to use brain to overcome obstacles and negative influences in his/her life.
Laburnum can survive around 20 years in the wild.

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