Virginia Tech Dendrology

Kentucky coffeetree Fabaceae Gymnocladus dioicus (L.) K. Koch Listen to the Latin play symbol: GYDI
Leaf: Alternate, bipinnately compound, very large (1 to 3 feet long), with numerous 1 1/2 to 2 inch ovate leaflets, entire margins, green above, slightly paler below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; males and females in long (3 to 4 inch) branched clusters, whitish, appearing in late spring.
Fruit: Reddish brown, flat thickened pod, 3 to 8 inches long, 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide, contains 6 or more dark brown seeds imbeded in a sticky pulp, ripen in late summer.
Twig: Very stout, light brown with whitish patches, somewhat zigzag or wavy, large heart-shaped leaf scar, salmon colored pith; buds small and sunken.
Bark: Dark grayish brown, scaly, developing deep fissures with scaly ridges.
Form: Medium sized tree, with a wide spreading crown, 80 feet tall, 2 feet in diameter.
Looks like: black walnut - tree-of-Heaven - smooth sumac
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Gymnocladus dioicus is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting Kentucky coffeetree.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson