Yellowwood Tree Types and Species of the Cladrastis Genus

Picture of a Yellowwood Tree
American Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)
American Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)

The genus name Cladrastis derives from the Greek "klados" = branch, and "thraustos" = fragile, referring to the brittle nature of the twigs. The Common name "Yellowwood" comes from the yellow color of the wood from this tree.

Cladrastis (Yellowwood) is a genus of small to medium-sized deciduous trees typically growing 10m ↔ 20m (30ft ↔ 60ft) tall. Cladrastis is native to eastern Asia, and one species to southeastern North America.

The leaves are compound pinnate, with 5 ↔ 17 alternately arranged leaflets. The Bark is smooth and light gray. The white or pink flowers are fragrant, produced in racemes or panicles 15 ↔ 40 cm long. The fruit is a pod 3 ↔ 8 cm long, containing one to six seeds.

Facts about the Cladrastis Genus of Trees
  • Genus Latin Scientific Name = Cladrastis
  • Genus Name Pronunciation: kluh-DRAS-tis
  • Genus Name Meaning: From the Greek "klados" = branch and "thraustos" = fragile, referring to the brittle nature of the twigs.
  • Genus Common Names = Yellowwood, Yellow Wood
  • Number of Taxa in the Cladrastis Genus = 8, and 2 Yellowwood cultivars
List of Yellowwood Trees, Cladrastis Genus - All known species, taxa types, organized by scientific Latin botanical name first and common names second
List of Yellowwood Tree Names
Botanical Tree NameCommon Tree Name
Cladrastis delavayi Chinese Yellowwood, Chinesisches Gelbholz, Kinesisk Gulved
Cladrastis kentukea
(synonyms; Cladrastis albiflora, Cladrastis fragrans, Cladrastis lutea, Cladrastis tinctoria)
Kentucky Yellowwood, American Yellowwood, Virgilia
Cladrastis parvifolia (Native to Guanxi, China)
Cladrastis platycarpa
(syn: Cladrastis yungchunii)
Japanese Yellowwood
Cladrastis scandens (Native to Guizhou, China)
Cladrastis sikokiana (Native to Southern Japan)
Cladrastis sinensis Chinese Yellow Wood
Cladrastis wilsonii
(syn: Cladrastis lichuanensis)
(Native to Central China)

List of Tree Names last up-dated on

List of Yellowwood Cultivars

  • Cladrastis ×kentukea 'Perkins Pink' or Cladrastis ×kentukea 'Rosea'
  • Cladrastis ×kentukea 'tomentosa'