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Although known as the Indian bean tree, this handsome species comes from hot areas of Central America and, while not tender, is best grown in very warm sheltered spots to protect its large ornamental leaves from cold winds. It will flower and fruit more impressively in a long hot summer. The golden form 'Aurea', even more sensitive to cold winds, is a fine sight early in the season when its 30cm (12in) diameter leaves are a soft golden yellow, although they are almost completely green by the time the flowers appear. Plant where it is shaded from the mid-day sun. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Plant type: Deciduous tree
Flower colour: White
Foliage colour: Golden
Feature: Autumn colour, Colourful new growth
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist
Skill level: Experienced
Time to plant seeds: September to November
Flowering period: July to August
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