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Products > Chiranthodendron pentadactylon
Chiranthodendron pentadactylon - Monkey's Hand Tree

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Malvaceae (w/Bombacaceae & Sterculeacea)
Origin: Guatemala (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Cheirostemon platanoides]
Height: 40-60 feet
Width: 20-30 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20° F
Chiranthodendron pentadactylon (Monkey's Hand Tree) - This is a fast growing evergreen tree from Guatemala and southern Mexico that can grow to 50+ feet tall. The large drooping shallow-lobed leaves have fuzzy brown wool-like hairs on the underside. In late spring into early summer (May-June) appear the very unusual flowers, looking like a red claw with the five 2 inch long red exerted stamens appearing as fingers protruding from the maroon cup of sepals; hence the common names of Monkey's Hand Tree and Devil's Hand Tree - in southern Mexico and Guatemala these plants are called "árbol de la manita" which means The Little Hand Tree. These flowers are followed by 5 inch long brown fuzzy, woody, deeply-fluted fruits that split into 5 lobes when dry. This tree is cold hardy down to around 20 degrees F - one of the largest specimens in the Santa Barbara area is located near our nursery and it weathered the short duration temperatures down to 18°F in December 1990 without damage. In 2015 this tree, growing in a Santa Barbara County Park called Lassen Open Space, was included on the California Big Tree Registry as the Largest Chiranthodendron in California. The name Chiranthodendron comes from the combination of the Greek words 'kheir' meaning "hand", 'anthos' meaning "flower" and 'dendron' meaning 'tree" in reference to the hand shaped flowers on this tree. The specific epithet pentadactylon translates from Greek as "5-fingered". We have grown this interesting tree since 1988 from seed collected off the  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Chiranthodendron pentadactylon.