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Home > Products > Trees > Spathodea campanulata

  Spathodea campanulata
 
Spathodea campanulata
Street tree on Alisos Street in Santa Barbara
 
This exotic tropical tree in the Bignonia family (Bignoniaceae) from tropical Africa grows 25-40 feet tall. It has dark green pinnately compund leaves and conspicuous velvety brown claw-like buds from which emerge 3 inch wide bell shaped orange-red flowers. Although considered an exotic weed where it has naturalized in moist tropical areas, due to its sensitivity to frost this spectacular fall blooming tree is a rare site in California. Out of the tropics this tree is partially deciduous and can only tolerate temperatures of 29° F without damage. Trees suffered but survived 24° F with damage in the freeze of December 1990 in downtown Santa Barbara where the above picture was taken. A very large specimen, probably the first planted in southern California, can be seen on Venice Blvd. in west Los Angeles.

The name Spathodea comes from the Greek word spathe, a cup-like structure surrrounding certain flowers such as a Calla Lily and odes meaning similar in reference to the flowers resembling a spathe.