Golden chain, Golden rain or Common laburnum (Laburnum anagyroides) is an upright, sparsely branched deciduous tree. It grows 4–9 m tall and 3–4 m wide at the crown. Leaves are trifoliate, 3–7 cm long, comprised of alternate leaflets, each 3–8 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. The plant blooms in late spring (in may), flowers are golden yellow, sweet scented, densely packed and arranged in pendulous racemes 10–20 cm long.
Laburnum anagyroides is popular garden ornamental native to the mountains of central Europe. Reproduction is from seeds. L. anagyroides is best suited to cooler, upland areas. The Fabaceae is a large and economically important family of flowering plants found throughout the world, with 730 genera and over 19,400 species.
The seeds are legumes with large numbers of black seeds that contain cytisine, an alkaloid extremely poisonous to humans but also goats and horses, especially when not ripe. However, some wild animals such as hares and deer can feed on them without any problems, and because of this the plant is believed to have magic properties in some regions. All parts of the plant contain cytisine and are poisonous if consumed.
The wood is hard and heavy, of a yellow/brown colour, ideal for making posts, for woodturning and as fuel. In the past (and today on historic re-enactments) it was used for making bows. The tree is also known as false ebony since the wood from very old specimens could be used in place of ebony. Laburnum anagyroides is cultivated as an ornamental tree.