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View Larger Kentucky Coffeetree

Planted at Mount Vernon

Planted at Mount Vernon Fruit Garden & Nursery Bowling Green

  • Fruit Garden & Nursery
  • Bowling Green

  • Hardiness Zones

    3 3 4 4b 5 5b 6 6b 7 7b 8 8b USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 3 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b

    This large, suckering tree produces fragrant showy flowers, followed by a bean-like seedpod and was used in times of scarcity to make a coffee-like beverage. The seeds are very toxic before roasting and should never be eaten raw.

    Latin Name

    Gymnocladus dioicus



    Type of Plant

    Trees Trees

    Bloom Season

    May - June


    Spring Spring


    Max height Max Height: 80'
    Max spread Max Spread: 55'


  • Shade Tree
  • Rain Garden

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun


  • Air Pollution
  • Drought

  • Toxicity

    Do not ingest Do not ingest


    Native Range

    Eastern and Central North America


    The Marquis de Lafayette wrote to Washington to request seeds of the coffee tree for use in the garden of the French King.

    Other Details

    Grown by Washington Grown by Washington

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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