This small tree is beside the sidewalk that crosses Magnolia Lawn from the bridge to the Commons, next to a plaque describing the planting bed nearby.
of Kentucky coffeetree is one of the few that is bipinnately compound. Its leaflets are arranged in rows on parallel secondary "stalks" that come off of the central "stalk". The seeds are in hard pods
that can be fairly large (although the pods on this particular tree aren't as large as some).
Although Kentucky coffeetree is native to the south-central U.S., it is not common in the wild. There is speculation that, like Osage orange
, the seeds
of Kentucky coffeetree were once dispersed by extinct large mammals who were able to chew up the hard seed pods. It is now found across a wider range, where it has been planted by humans.
This tree is described on p. 78 of The Trees of Vanderbilt