Kentucky Coffeetree

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SIU 150th logo

This tree is one of the 150 trees initially included in the arboretum to coincide with the campus's 150th anniversary celebration.

Scientific Name:
Gymnocladus dioicus


Native to:
New York and Pennsylvania to Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Tennessee

Mature Height and Width:
60-75 feet by 40-50 feet, can reach 90 feet high

Additional Notes:
Thoroughly roasted Kentucky coffeetree seeds were eaten and used to make a coffee-like drink by several Native American cultures living across the present-day Midwest.  The co-occurrence of clumps of this species, otherwise rare in its natural environment, with known home sites suggests that Kentucky Coffeetree was actively cultivated by Native Americans.  Today, Kentucky Coffeetree is a popular street tree given its resiliency and tidiness relative to species with heavier foliage.