Laburnum tree in spring

Above: a laburnum tree in spring.
Below: the one behind the statue
of Margaret MacDonald.

Laburnum tree

Trees of London

Lincoln's Inn Fields


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              There is a monument about twenty yards to the right of the gate across the road from the John Soane museum: that's right as you face into the square. Engraved on the stone is a dedication to a lady called Margaret MacDonald. She was the Cherie Blair of her era, the wife of the Labour Prime Minister of the nineteen-thirties, Ramsey Macdonald. Behind this statue to the left is a laburnum tree.

              The leaves of this tree do not stand out as being particularly unusual, they are trifoliate, something which occurs in nature quite often. However, I can think of no other tree where this happens and so I have found this tree surprisingly easy to identify. The other give a way is that it has a striking train of yellow flowers hanging down from it when it is in bloom.

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Other Trees at Lincoln's Inn fields

Judas tree      silver maple      Indian bean

birch      hazel      oak

Lincoln's Inn fields

Tree Identification

Laburnum anagyroides:

alternate; groups of three, trifoliate.

Laburnum leaf
Laburnum pod

nuts/fruit: pale brown pods.

Laburnum flower Flowers:
striking yellow trains which droop down.
Laburnum bark bark:
smooth and shiny with green tint.
grows to 9 metres, straight; flowers and nuts hang down.
general: quite easy to identify because there are not many other trees with trifoliate leaves. In the spring, in flower, it is unmistakeable.

Turn right from the entrace closest
to the John Soane Museum. Half way down
the path is a monument to Margaret MacDonald.
The laburnum is to the left behind this statue,
which incorporates a bench.
John Soane Museum is in yellow.
Laburnum is in red.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©