The Kentucky coffeetree, Gymnocladus dioicus, is a leguminacious tree native to the midwestern United States. It is the only representative of its genus. It was formerly the state tree of Kentucky.
The coffeetree has immense bipinnate leaves, up to about three feet (one meter) in length, and about 2/3 as broad. The leaves emerge later in the spring than those of most other woody plants, and fall earlier in the autumn. This peculiar characteristic, coupled with the fact that the large leaves mean few twigs in the winter profile, make it a tree that is ideal for urban shading where winter sunlight is to be maximized (such as in proximity to solar hot-air systems).
The coffeetree forms large clonal colonies, reproducing by shoots sprouting from roots.
The bark is ash-gray and scaly, flaking similarly to wild black cherry, but more so.
The flowers are dioecious, and the fruit is a hard-shelled bean in heavy, thick-walled pods.