Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Family: Fabaceae
Gymnocladus dioicus (L.) K.Koch
Kentucky coffeetree

in GMG
54o 34.927N
5o 55.942W

This tree was originally planted in the memorial Garden for xxx . The plants in the memorial garden had to be moved for the renovation of the Tropical Ravine and when building work was complete, this tree was re-housed in the Global Medicine Garden.

Gymnocladus dioicus is a handsome tree from E and C United States and SE Canada. The species is dioecious, ie there are separate male and female trees (it is not yet clear which the Botanic Gardens' tree is.) Although fairly slow-growing it can reach 20m high. The seeds, when well roasted, were used as a substitute for coffee by the early settlers in North America. Warning: the unroasted seeds and seed pods are toxic.

Gymnocladus dioicus in Belfast Botanic Gardens

Gymnocladus dioicus

Young Kentucky coffeetree in the Global Medicine Garden Leaves of Kentucky coffeetree in Autumn

Morus alba fruit

Distinctive swollen petioles of Gymnocladus dioicus

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2022. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

Click here to view the rest of the tree archive