The yellowwood is a Missouri native from the legume family which requires full sunlight and well-drained soil and which grows to 30 to 50 feet in height. Its leaves are compound pinnate with mostly 7-9 leaflets which turn a mix of yellow gold, and orange in the fall. Wisteria-like very fragrant, white flowers can cover the tree in early June and become up to 4-inch brown seedpods by mid fall.
The yellow dye in the wood gives the tree its name and its bark is gray or light brown. The yellowwood is considered a plant of merit and is recommended as one of the best medium sized ornamental trees for gardens and yards.