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Kentucky Coffee Tree

Gymnocladus dioicus.

This is a tree in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae of the pea family Fabaceae, native to the Midwest and Upper South of North America.

Shipping size: 18" - 24"


  • $6.50


The tree varies from 18 to 21 meters (60–70 feet) high with a spread of 12–15 meters (40–50 feet) and a trunk up to one meter (3 feet) in diameter. The tree grows at a medium rate with height increases of anywhere from 12" to 24" per year.

The Kentucky coffeetree is a moderately fast-growing tree, and male trees are often grown in parks and along city streets for ornamental purposes.

The bark is tan or dark gray, deeply fissured, surface scaly, often with prominent narrow ridges. Branchlets at first coated with short reddish down.

Winter buds are minute, depressed in downy cavities of the stem, two in the axil of each leaf, the smaller sterile. Bud scales two, ovate, coated with brown tomentum and growing with the shoot, become orange green, hairy and about one inch long, before they fall.

The leaves come out of the bud bright pink, but soon become bronze green, smooth and shining above. When full grown are dark yellow green above, pale green beneath. In autumn turn a bright clear yellow.

It flowers in June.

The fruit is six to ten inches (150–250 mm) long, one and one-half to two inches wide, somewhat curved, with thickened margins, dark reddish brown with slight glaucous bloom, crowned with remnant of the styles. Stalks and inch or two long. Seeds six to nine, surrounded by a thick layer of dark, sweet pulp.

The seed may be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee beans; however, unroasted pods and seeds are toxic.

For more inforamtion, visit https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=GYDI

Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Zone: 3 to 8

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W3772 Hwy 156 | Pulaski, WI 54162