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Amur maackia

Maackia-tree-BFamur maackia, Maackia amurensis

Scientific Name

Maackia is named for Richard Karlovich Maack, a 19th century Russian naturalist; amurensis means “of the Amur region,” an area in northeast Asia where the tree grows.

Common Name: Amur maackia is from the Latin name.


Amur maackia is native to Manchuria (northeastern China and Korea). Trees are found in open woods and scrub in full sun and a variety of soils. Amur maackia can grow up to 40 ft. tall in the wild. Maackia contains around 6 species distributed throughout eastern Asia. The Fabaceae family also contains redbud, black locust, and honey locust. Members of the Fabaceae family enrich the soil by adding nitrogen.


Not native to Kentucky.


Growth Habit and Form

Amur maackia is a small and rounded, deciduous tree with arching, spreading branches. It grows 20 to 30 feet tall and wide under cultivation.


The dark green leaves are alternate, compound, odd-pinnate with 7 to 11 leaflets. Individual leaflets are elliptic and 1 ½ to 3 ½ inches long. Leaves are silvery-gray when unfolding. Leaves do not develop appreciable fall color; the green leaves drop soon after the first freeze.


Creamy-white, pealike flowers appear in 4 to 6 inch long upright and dense, showy clusters in June or July. Their fragrance is similar to that of freshly mown grass or alfalfa. Flowers are pollinated by bees.


Fruits are flat, brown pods that are 2 to 3 inches long and 1/3 to ½ inch wide.


The shiny, coppery-brown bark peels with age into loose flakes and curls.

Wild and Cultivated Varieties

Variety buergeri has hairs on the underside of leaflets.


Landscape Use

Amur maackia is a very hardy, durable and adaptable, slow growing small tree. It can be used as a specimen on smaller lawns and patios. It makes an excellent shade tree near a deck or patio. Trees can also be planted as street trees.|

Hardiness Zone

Hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 7.

Growth Rate

Slow, 12 feet in 20 years.

Cultivation and Propagation Information

Amur maakia performs best in loose, well-drained acid or alkaline soil and full sun. Trees tolerate some wind but not extreme wet or dry conditions. Propagation is by seed and softwood cuttings.

Diseases and Insects

None serious.

Wildlife Considerations

Trees provide homes and shelter for wildlife.

Maintenance Practices

Minimal attention given appropriate cultural conditions.


Amur maackia is an excellent small tree for streets, lawns, patios, and planters. It is not common, but should receive more consideration for its qualities. It was introduced into cultivation in 1864. Maackia is a little-known genus which is closely related to Cladrastis (yellowwood).