Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Cladrastis kentukea
Yellowwood
Taxonomy

Synonyms: Cladrastis kentuckea, Cladrastis lutea, Cladrastis lutea (Michx. f.) K. Koch

Subspecific taxa:

Classification:

  • Magnoliophyta

Other taxonomic & nomenclature sources: USDA PlantsITISThe Plant ListIPNI

Species Distribution
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County Map Legend
Absent:
Not known from county
Medium confidence:
Medium or unknown confidence;
often old records or unverifiable observations
Medium-high confidence:
Often observations by expert botanists
High confidence:
Often vouchered herbarium records
Planted / introduced:
Native species introduced outside historic range,
or only in planted locations within county (e.g., restorations)
Historic / extirpated:
Only historic records for the species; likely extirpated
(Note that this category is not yet functional)

North American distribution maps for this species: FLNAUSDA PlantsBONAPBISON

Collection & Observation Phenology [?]

J
0
F
0
M
0
A
0
M
0
J
0
J
0
A
0
S
0
O
0
N
0
D
0

Collection & Observation Timeline [?]

Species Status

Status/Listing: State Endangered, Regional Forester Sensitive Species

Notes:

Origin: Native

Species Description

General: Dicot-woody, perennial

Roots: primary

Shoots: alternate leaf arrangment; compound, pinnately leaf type; entire leaf margin; Pinnate leaf venation; lanceolate, oblanceolate leaf shape

Inflorescence: panicle

Flowers: perfect; 5 merous; complete, irregular; white; perigynous ovary position

Fruit: legume

Physiology: autotrophic; C3 C02 fixation

Ecology & Natural History

Habitat: Rich woods; calcareous bluffs; ravines.

ILPIN Notes: Lateral leaflets are arranged alternately along the rachis; base of the petiole is swollen and completely encloses the winter buds. Northern range limit. Abundant flowering occurs only every second or third year (Robertson, 1977). The population at Wolf Creek Botanical Area in Alexander County is infected with Verticillium wilt (Robertson & Pusateri, 1976). Propagated by root cuttings or by seed. Seed should be covered with hot water (190 degrees Fahrenheit), allowed to set overnight, then stratified for three months at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (Robertson, 1977). Mohlenbrock, R. H. 1982. Woody plants of the Shawnee National Forest (Illinois). Castanea 47: 347-359. Robertson, K. R. 1977. Cladrastis: the yellow-woods. Arnoldia 37: 137-150. Robertson, P. A., and W. P. Pusateri. 1976. Structural analysis of a stand containing yellowwood in southern Illinois. Pages 119-130 in J. S. Fralish, G. T. Weaver, and R. C. Schlesinger, eds., Proceedings of the Central Hardwood Conference. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. The wood of yellowwood is hard, heavy, strong, and close-grained. It polishes nicely and was once used to make gunstocks and small articles of furniture. Wild trees fork too closely to the ground to be harvested commercially for lumber. The wood also tends to crack and check unless dried carefully. The branches are brittle and trees are susceptible to wind damage (Robertson, 1977).

Functional Relationships:

  • Pollinators insects (insect)

Human Relationships:

  • Edibility [?] :
  • Showy Flowers: high

Wildlife and Livestock Information:

  • Food Value:
  • Cover Value:

Coefficient of Conservatism (C-value) [?] :

  • Entire State: 10
  • Chicago Area:

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