Sonntag, 29. Mai 2011

Plant of the Day (May 29th , 2011) - Laburnum anagryoides Medik.

Sorry, but because I was very busy the last days, I was not able to write a new “Article of the Week”. But don't be worried, I will make it tomorrow and post it at Tuesday. It will be about pollination and the anatomy of the ovules.

So, today, I will only post a new “Plant of the Day”. It's the “yellow brother” of Robinia pseudoacacia L., which I've introduced two days ago: Laburnum anagyroides Medik.; in English known as “Golden Laburbum”, “Golden Rain” or “Golden Chain” and as “Gewöhnlicher Goldregen” in German. It also belongs to the Fabaceae family.

L. anagyroides - Habitus

It's a big shrub or tree, that can reach heights until 8 metres or 26,3 feet. The foliage-leaves have a long stalk and are digitate. Every leaf is divided into three small and egg-shaped leaflets. The leaves are dark-green.

The inflorescence is the same as in R. pseudoacacia: a loose, hanging racime with short-stalked, yellow flowers. They are cygomporphic and consist of the typical, different shaped petals of the Fabaceae: “banner”, “keel” and “wings”. The whole sight of the golden-yellow and hanging inflorescences, which gave the plant the name “Golden Rain”.

 L. anagyroides - inflorescences

Originally L. anagyroides is native to Middle and South Europe, but as neophyte and popular garden tree, it can be found everywhere in Europe today. It prefers warm and damp habitats on lime. In Germany, Laburnum anagryoidies Medik. is in the vocation to be very toxic. In fact, the seeds of this species contains cystine, which can be deadly, because it causes respiratory paralysis. But in the most cases, you will puke before this happens, so deaths through “Laburnum” are, in contrast to the vernacular a very rare phenomenon.

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