Common Laburnum
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Common Laburnum
ntroduced Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Common Laburnum, golden-chain, golden-chaintree, laburnum, peatree
Botanical name: Laburnum anagyroides    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Laburnum vulgare, Cytisus laburnum

Common Laburnum is a small deciduous tree or large shrubs up to 7 m tall. It has smooth bark, dark green spreading branches and pendulous and velvet-hairy twigs. The trifoliate leaves are long stalked, and the leaflets are smooth on the upperside and hairy on the underside. The tree blooms in late spring with pea-like, yellow flowers densely packed in pendulous racemes 10-25 cm long. The flowers are golden yellow and sweet scented. The seeds are legumes with large numbers of black seeds that contain cytisine, an alkaloid extremely poisonous to humans but also goats and horses, especially when not ripe. However, some wild animals such as hares and deer can feed on them without any problems, and because of this the plant is believed to have magic properties in some regions. All parts of the plant contain cytisine and are poisonous if consumed. Common Laburnum is native to Europe, cultivates in colder parts of India.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Srinagar, Kashmir.
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