Laburnum is a genus of flowering tree in pea family Fabaceae. Commonly known as Golden Rain or Golden Chain. Laburnum anagyroides ( common laburnum ) and Laburnum alpinum ( Scotch laburnum ) are two species in the genus. Laburnum is native to the mountains of southern Europe, from France to Balkan Peninsula.
Laburnum trees are famous for their racemes of beautiful yellow, pea-like flowers, which are borne from late spring to early summer. They can be grown as ornamental plant, in small garden or trained over sturdy support so that the flowers hang down. You can also trained two trees to make an arch. The most widely planted is hybrid Laburnum x watereri (Voss's Laburnum).
All parts of Laburnum are poisonous. The main toxin is Cytisine, a nicotinic receptor agonist, which in large doses can interfere with the respiration and become fatal. The symptoms of poisoning include intense sleepiness, vomiting, convulsive movements, coma, slight frothing at the mouth and unequally dilated pupils. Even though Laburnum is a poisonous plant, larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) species such as Buff-Tip, used it as food plant.
Plant Laburnum in full sun, fertile and well-drained soil. Propagation can be done by grafting in late winter. Pests and diseases are Blackfly, honey fungus, mildew and silver leaf.