Xanthoceras sorbifolium
Common Name: yellowhorn 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Sapindaceae
Native Range: Northern China
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 8.00 to 25.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: White with red or yellow center
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers loamy soil. Very adaptable plant with tolerance for a wide range of growing conditions, including partial shade, damp soils or some drought.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Xanthoceras sorbifolium, commonly called yellowhorn, is a deciduous, flowering tree (20-25' tall) or multi-stemmed shrub (8-10' tall) which is a native of China. Features lustrous, compound green leaves with 9-17 leaflets which persist late into the fall and five petaled, 1 inch diameter, star-shaped, white flowers with yellow or red centers which appear in terminal racemes in May. Flowers are followed by 2.5" green fruits which superficially resemble buckeyes. May be somewhat difficult to find in commerce.

Genus name comes from the Greek words xanthos meaning yellow and keras meaning a horn for the yellow hornlike growths between the petals.

Specific epithet means with foliage like that of Sorbaria.


No serious disease or insect problems.


Excellent small flowering tree or shrub with long-lasting green foliage. Grow as a specimen or in groups near the home, in the lawn or shrub border or near the patio. Also may be an effective background for spring flowering perennials.