The Kentucky Coffeetree, Gymnocladus dioicus, was awarded honorable mention for GCA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Award “Plant of the Year” in 2019. Click here for more information.
We hope to propagate seeds from the Kentucky Coffeetree for a Challenge Class in our 2020 June flower Show. Participants will be given a seed in late March to early April to plant. The seeds need to be filed and soaked overnight for rapid germination and planted ½” deep in potting soil. Pots can remain indoors or taken outside when the weather is warm.
The Kentucky Coffeetree is a terrific shade tree for Denver as it is tolerant of pollution and alkaline soils. The leaves emerge late and drop early in the fall – a desirous trait with our erratic snows. It grows to 70 feet in full sun and is an excellent alternative to ash trees that are being lost to the Emerald Ash Borer. It has four-season interest and pollinators are attracted to the rose-scented flowers in the early summer. The leaves are soft and lacy in the summer, allowing plants to grow beneath the canopy. Fall brings yellow foliage and winter brings a striking silhouette.