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Products > Cassia leptophylla
Cassia leptophylla - Gold Medallion Tree

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Caesalpiniaceae (~Fabales)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 15-25 feet
Width: 15-20 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Cassia leptophylla (Gold Medallion Tree) - A broad semi-evergreen tree to 20 to 25 feet tall that has reddish-brown bark with low branches that are somewhat pendulous towards the tips with 1 foot long compound leaves of 9 to 20 pairs of opposite 1-2 inch long linear leaflets that are deep glossy green on their upper surface and dull green below. In early to mid-summer appear the terminal clusters of 2 to 3 inch wide deep yellow flowers, with scattered blooming later. The flowers are followed by 1 to 2 foot long bean-like pods that are square in cross section. Plant in full sun in a fairly well-drained soil and give occasional to little irrigation. Hardy to about 25 degrees F and tolerant to short duration freezes a bit lower. This is the most common and reliable of the Cassias in southern California it was first planted in the Los Angeles County Arboretum in 1958 and has become increasingly popular over time. It can be a little fussy in heavy soils that are over irrigated but in general it has been a very reliable tree in Southern California landscapes. Though many of the plants previously known as Cassia are now in the genus Senna, this species form southeastern Brazil is still in the genus Cassia. The name Cassia is from the ancient Greek 'Kassia', a name for the biblical kassian plants that provided senna leaves and pods for medicinal use. The specific epithet is from the Greek words 'leptos' meaning "thin", "slender", "delicate" or "narrow" and 'phyllon' meaning "leaf" in reference to the narrow leaflets of this species.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Cassia leptophylla.