Gymnocladus dioica, commonly known as the Kentucky coffeetree, is a unique and visually striking species.
This deciduous tree can reach heights of up to 20-25 meters, displaying an open, irregular shape with a broad, rounded crown.
The bark is rough and scaly, predominantly grey-brown in colour.
One of its most notable features is the large, bipinnate leaves, which can be up to 90 cm long, giving the tree a tropical appearance.
In late spring to early summer, Gymnocladus dioica produces small, greenish-white flowers.
The male and female flowers are usually found on separate trees (dioecious).
The fruit is a hard, elongated pod containing seeds that, interestingly, were once used as a coffee substitute.
In the British Isles, Gymnocladus dioica is not native but can be found as an ornamental tree in parks and large gardens.
It thrives in well-drained soils and is tolerant of urban pollution, making it suitable for city planting.
However, it is not widely prevalent and is more commonly seen in botanical collections and specialist plant nurseries.