taken by Russell Stafford

Xanthoceras sorbifolium


Plant Type:


Xanthoceras sorbifolium – Yellowhorn or Popcorn Shrub is seldom seen. This chestnut relative displays large fragrant white racemes 6” to 10” long in May. Each white 3/4” to 1” floret has a yellow blotch at the base aging to red. The somewhat lustrous foliage is compound pinnate and ferny, anywhere from 5” to 9” long. Each brown seed capsule, 2” to 4” in diameter, contains large edible dark brown seeds which when roasted are said to taste of Macadamia nuts. A beautiful small rounded tree, it more often is seen as a large shrub perfectly content in fertile loam, even adaptable to calcareous soils. Sited in full sun, Yellowhorn will be a handsome element in your landscape. If you have the space we can strongly recommend this unusual shrub but be warned, it will languish in the heat of the south. Spring planting may be the wiser tactic for gardeners towards the northern end of its range. Offered pot grown by root cuttings or seed grown.


18-24 Ft




(3)4 to 6(7)
What is my hardiness zone?

Characteristics and Attributes for Xanthoceras sorbifolium

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Spring

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer / Autumn

Autumn Interest

  • Fruit / Berries / Seed Heads


  • Full Sun


  • Fragrant
  • Shrub Border
  • Specimen
  • Hedge
  • Hedgerow
  • Screen

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderately Fast


  • Fertile
  • Adaptable
  • Calcareous


  • China

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown