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Koelreuteria paniculata  Laxm.
Riley County, Kansas
Height: Trees to 60 feet
Family: Sapindaceae - Soapberry Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July
Also Called: Varnish tree, pride-of-india.
Trunks: Erect; bark gray to grayish brown, furrows shallow, ridges narrow to broad, sometimes thick plates; wood yellowish brown, hard.
Twigs: Reddish brown, brittle, more or less angular, glabrous or pubescent distally; leaf scars V-shaped to more or less half-round; pith white to tan; buds brown, oblong-obovoid, .12 to .2 inch, apex obtuse, scales glabrous (but pilose on adaxial surface).
Leaves: Deciduous, alternate, even-pinnately compound, 10 to 20 inches; petiole .8 to 3.2 inches, sparsely pubescent adaxially; leaflets 7-17, mostly subopposite, ovate to elliptic or obovate, not sickle-shaped, 2 to 4.4 inches long, 1.2 to 2.8 inches wide, base rounded to truncate, more or less asymmetric, margins coarsely crenate-serrate, sometimes pinnatisect or essentially compound, apex acuminate, lower surfaces light green to yellowish green, sparsely pubescent, especially along veins, upper surfaces green, glabrous or sparsely pubescent along veins.
Flowers: Inflorescences terminal on new growth, panicles, ovoid, 50-300-flowered, 10 to 12 inches long, 10-12 inches wide; peduncles .8 to 3.2 inches, puberulent; pedicels .1 to .2 inch, puberulent. Flowers unisexual, sometimes mixed with few bisexual, bilaterally symmetric; sepals 5, connate basally, 3 long and 2 short, ovate, .06 to .08 inch; petals 4, distinct, yellow initially, eventually orangish red, .18 to .28 inch; staminate: stamens 8(-9), .3 to .4 inch; pistillate: stamens 8(9), .16 to .2 inch; pistil 1, ovary superior, 3-locular; style 1; stigma 3-lobed.
Fruit: September-October; capsules, initially greenish red to reddish brown, eventually brown, papery-inflated, cone-shaped, 1.8 to 2.8 inches, glabrous or glabrescent; seeds 6, black, nearly globose, .24 to .28 inch long, .26 to .3 inch wide, smooth.
Habitat: Disturbed woodlands, woodlots, thickets
Distribution: Planted shade/ornamental tree; documented in the wild in Douglas and Leavenworth counties
Origin: Naturalized
Comments: Koelreuteria paniculata is a popular shade tree and ornamental that is native to China. It is fast growing and relatively disease resistant. It was first documented as escaped from cultivation in Kansas in 1996 and in recent years has become a relatively common weed in disturbed woodlands, woodlots, and thickets, especially in urban areas.

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