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Xanthoceras sorbifolium (yellowhorn)

Yellowhorn is a very attractive bush, or small tree, bearing sprays of elegant white flowers on bare branches in May or June.
Flowers of yellowhorn

Xanthoceras sorbifolium (Photo: Wolfgang Stuppy)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Xanthoceras sorbifolium Bunge

Common name: 


Conservation status: 

Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria.


Rocky slopes on hills and mountains.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental, edible seeds.

Known hazards: 

None known.


Genus: Xanthoceras

About this species

Xanthoceras sorbifolium was described by Joseph Hooker (Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 1865–1885) in 1887 as ‘…one of the most attractive and interesting hardy garden shrubs that has been introduced for many years’. It was originally collected by Alexander von Bunge (1803–1890), a botanist working near Beijing, in about 1830, whilst accompanying an overland mission to the capital from St Petersburg. It was not brought into cultivation in Europe until 1868, when the botanist and missionary Père David (1826–1900) sent seeds and live plants to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. David reported that although he had only seen wild plants in a small and mountainous area of China, the tree was well-known in Beijing and much cultivated by the Chinese, who ate the seeds.


Xanthoceras sorbifolia


main info

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