As I was trapped in traffic, creeping along the streets yesterday, I actually had the opportunity to notice the riot of yellow blooms still gracing our San Diego landscapes. The cause: the Gold Medallion Tree. A wonderful option for a tropical looking tree without high water usage is the Cassia letophylla, or Gold Medallion Tree. It is related to the Golden Shower tree, Cassia fistula, which you can find in such tropical climates as Hawaii or Thailand, but we have a harder time finding here. The blooms and leaves are shaped differently than its tropical cousin, but the color palette of vibrant greens and yellows is the same. Look for the yellow showy flower clusters all around the county. This semi-evergreen native of Brazil has proven to be well adapted to San Diego's climate and remarkably hardy in both cold and heat. We wouldn't plant in areas that get frost. Its growth is between 20-30' tall and wide. It does best in full sun, in well drained soil, with support and training when young and requires little water once established.
from the office of
Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc.