Chinese Flame Tree (Koelreuteria bipinnata)


Chinese Flame Tree

Koelreuteria bipinnata

  • Other common name is The Pride of China Tree, Chinese Golden Rain Tree, Bougainvillea Golden Rain Tree
  • Their unusual papery seed capsules resemble little Chinese lanterns
  • Easy to grow
  • Adapts to most soils
  • A cousin of the Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculate)

The Chinese Flame Tree puts on a colorful show several times a year, and its deep, non-invasive roots make it ideal for use as a street tree, where Koelreuteria bipinnata adds plenty of curbside appeal all year long! Native to southwestern China, this attractive Koelreuteria tree blooms showy bright yellow fragrant flowers in the summer, which are then followed by festive rosy-pink papery seed capsules that resemble little Chinese lanterns, hence the common name. These papery husks are ideal for dried flower arrangements! This tree is deciduous. They can grow to be a medium sized tree with a broad spreading crown, so we also we also like to plant this Koelreuteria as a shade tree near patios or just about anywhere in your landscape!

Besides their good looks, there are other great reasons to plant a Chinese Flame Tree. They are easy to grow, adapt to most soils, and are one of those trees that are good to plant under. Once established, they require low to moderate water, and feeding with a general-purpose fertilizer before the new growth begins in the spring is beneficial to their development. These flame trees have a moderate growth rate, so buy as big as you can and enjoy the dazzling spectacle!

Koelreuteria bipinnata or Chinese Flame Tree adds plenty of interesting color and texture to any landscape, so we also like to plant them with other colorful plants such as Xylosma and Fraser’s Photinia, which are also grown by Big Tex Nursery and available right now. Visit any of our nurseries throughout Houston, and our nursery pros will be glad to help you handpick the perfect trees, shrubs, and other plants that can increase property value!


Fast growing shade tree

Beautiful summer blooms

Breathtaking fall ‘Chinese Lantern’ display

One of the few summer bloomers