Gold Medallion Tree (Cassia leptophylla)

buddyben(z9 CA/Sunset 20)September 21, 2007

I'm thinking of trees to plant that will be about 15 to 20 feet tall, evergreen, tolerate full sun, sandy soil, dry conditions, hot summers, and not be too wide (about 15 to 20 feet wide would be great). They have to complement my orange tree and my mulberry tree as far as canopy shape and leaf color. They have to have dense enough foliage to provide privacy from the two story house across the alley overlooking our backyard. Having to eliminate California native trees from my list because they don't fit the characteristics I listed above, breaks my heart.

But I have seen that Gold Medallion Tree seems to fit most of my needs. Its yellow blossoms will even complement my yellow bungalow.

Does anyone have any opinions pro or con about Gold Medallion as a tree for my backyard?

Any does anyone recommend a good nursery for trees in the San Fernando Valley?

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I can't think of a single drawback to this wonderful tree.
Tidy, tough drought-tolerant, lush, generous bloomer, good shape (and easy to prune to the shape you need).

I even like the pods. A total winner.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 7:52AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Hi Buddyben,
Yes! Green Arrow/Thumb (can't remember which it is)on Sepulveda. They have the best fruit and ornamental tree selection that I know of in the Valley. Sperling Nursery in Calabasas is my favorite nursery, but I don't recall what their tree selection is like.
If I am correct in my identification, the Home Depot parking lot in Simi Valley is planted with this tree, and it can be truly spectacular, with bright yellow blossoms and very pretty foliage. I believe it is deciduous, no?
I planted a gledistia (spelling?)for the same sort of purpose, and I love its weepy leaves and ferny foliage, which is almost chartreuse when it first leafs out in the spring. It's main drawbacks: no flowers, deciduous, prone to branches breaking in the Simi winds. A gas station at the corner of Parthenia and Tampa is planted with this tree, if you want to go take a look.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 4:29PM
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I have kept this tree as a potted plant.Bloomed every year too. I dont know why so many great trees are never used as potted plants.Nobody wants to think outside the box of ficus!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 10:39PM
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buddyben(z9 CA/Sunset 20)

How big was the container and how tall did the Gold Medallion get?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 10:33PM
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In a generic black 5 gal nursery pot. It wasnt ever really trained to be anything like a bonsai or any real shape. Just kept for what it was-an interesting flowering tree about 3-4' tall. Another was a Tabebuia chrysotricha,that flowered in a ONE gallon pot. A third now that i'm naming names is the Jacaranda. I had it flowering in a 5-10 gallon pot. It looked like a big flowering fern when kept potted. There are so many great trees to be kept as potted trees on the patio here in California and people just keep to the Home Depot house plant section....

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:56AM
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slave2thefur(san diego - north coast)

I grew a cassia (forgot which one, and not as attractive as Cassia leptophylla) from seed. Not only is it a lovely, drought tolerant tree, but also the larval food plant for clouds of sulfur butterflies. Egg laying occurs mostly during the flowering period. The larvae are yellow when the tree flowers, then green as they switch to leaves. =^,,^=

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 1:18PM
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The city of Lomita near me has either Crown of Gold Tree (Cassia excelsa) or Gold Medallion Tree (Cassia leptophylla), I'm not sure which, planted all along the main sidewalks in those little cement squares that never get any water. It still looks great even after this drought and adds a lot of color, but I do wish they would prune oof the 2' seedpods that hang down and slap you in the face as you walk.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 4:05PM
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lafilmfan(z10 LB, CA)

I put both of these in as street trees in front of my building. I can't think of much that I don't like except maybe the pods are a little unsightly and the leaves really only occur at the end of branches.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 6:16PM
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several of these are planted in the patio of the norton simon museum in pasadena. the pods are striking , long and hard, no flowers but good shape and 25 ft tall, a good border tree.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 2:34AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Native Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) will get that large and become quite picturesque the older they get. The Cassia is very beautiful though.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 2:37PM
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I have what I think is a cassia, maybe leptophylla. My friend gave me a sprout, from a seed from her tree, that I left in a pot and neglected for a couple of years, amazed that it didn't die. I FINALLY planted it a couple of years ago and it hasn't grown very much, nor has it bloomed to confirm the flower, but the leaves look like the cassia, and I believe that is what my friend originally said it was. It is only about 2 1/2 feet tall. I had heard they grow fast. What can I do to get this beauty to take off? Thanks for any suggestions you can give me!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 9:43PM
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danihoney(z9bCa, SSz8)

These are street trees in Capitola along 41st ave. and are just beautiful when in bloom.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 12:20AM
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I have a gold medallion tree and has lost a lot of leaves - how do you suggest I trim the tree. I did a have several blooms this year. The tree was planted in
April '10 from a 5 gallon container. I live is So. Calif.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 12:33PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Why do you want to prune it? They normally grow into a lovely shape if you leave them alone. Is it too big for its spot?

Sometimes trees drop leaves from the heat, and we had that week of high temperatures. Leaves will grow back.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 1:53AM
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Boething Treeland near 101/Mulholland in the west valley is a good place to walk around and look at specimens. And the staff is knowledgeable and friendly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Boething Treeland

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 2:36PM
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The cassia is just a glorious tree!! I was wondering how yours did? I'm trying to get one I planted to grow. I'm not meeting with much success so I was wondering if you could take out the time to have a look at the link I'm providing. A picture of yours would be great if you could post. Also, do you think it's a reasonable idea to grow in a pot and then transplant into the soil. I wanted mine to grow to a height of say 10-12 feet and then spread into a canopy. Is that kind of height possible in a pot?
Thanks and great going with the Jacaranda too.

Here is a link that might be useful: cassia fistula just won't grow! help

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 12:02AM
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