Cladrastis kentukea (Dumont de Courset) Rudd. Phen: Apr-May; Jul-Aug. Hab: Mountain forests, Piedmont bluffs, especially on calcareous or mafic rocks (introduced only in the Piedmont of NC). Dist: This small to large tree has a native range primarily in the Southern Appalachians (mostly on the west side), the Ozarks, and limestone regions in-between (such as c. TN), ranging from s. OH, s. IN, s. IL, and s. MO south to sw. NC, sc. SC, n. GA, AL, c. AR, and e. OK, but is cultivated and (at least sparsely) naturalized more widely. Increasingly planted as an ornamental, and likely to start escaping more widely, as reported for Fairfax County, VA (Steury 2011). As discussed by Wyatt (1985), the SC occurrence on Fall Line bluffs of the Savannah River is an interesting disjunction, apparently relictual.
ID notes: Yellow-wood is a distinctive tree, distinguished by its smooth silvery-gray bark, peculiar leaves with alternate leaflets, and pendent panicles of white flowers.
Origin/Endemic status: Endemic
Synonymy: = Ar, Il, K1, K3, K4, NE, NY, W, Duley & Vincent (2003), Rudd (1972); = Cladrastis lutea (F.Michx.) K.Koch – C, F, G, RAB, S, SE3, Isely (1981), Isely (1998); = n/a – Pa