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Products > Acrocarpus fraxinifolius
Acrocarpus fraxinifolius - Pink Cedar

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Caesalpiniaceae (~Fabales)
Origin: Asia, South (Asia)
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 60-80 feet
Width: 15-30 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Acrocarpus fraxinifolius (Pink Cedar) A fast growing large deciduous tree that can have a buttressed base with a straight trunk of a light gray colored bark and spreading horizontal stems that form a rounded crown. In the tropics this tree is known to reach great heights (120 feet or more) but is more likely to be an tree to no more than 70 feet in southern California. It has bipinnately compound leaves with 5 to 6 pairs of dark green 3 inch long oblong leaflets that are a bright reddish pink color when first emerging, then a pinkish yellow and finally a lime green color before maturing, giving the tree a multicolored look at the branch tips much of the spring and summer. In the early spring, just before or as the tree first leafs out, appear the many scarlet-red flowers in 3 to 6 inch long dense axillary racemes near, but not at, the branch tips. The flowers are composed of long green petals that are fairly inconspicuous but the scarlet colored 1 inch long stamens protrude, giving the inflorescence a bit of a bottlebrush look. Plant in full sun and irrigate deeply regularly to occasionally. Hardiness is not well known but this tree has survived undamaged in several locations in Santa Barbara for 40 years or more and likely is tolerant to nighttime dips to at least 28 F. This tree is monospecific (only one in the genus) that is native to the montane rainforests below 4,000 feet along the Himalayas of eastern India and Myanmar (Burma) and further to the southeast through the Malay Peninsula to Sumatra and Java. It is known to be deep rooted and because of its fast growth and the quality of its wood, which is hard and strong, it is planted in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The wood is used for home construction, furniture and packing boxes and is also used as a shade tree in coffee plantations. Though relatively rare in cultivation in California there are large specimens in Santa Barbara and other cities in Southern California. The name Acrocarpus combines the Greek words 'akron' meaning "peak" or "extremity" with 'karpos' meaning fruit in reference to the terminal racemes in which the fruit is born. As the specific epithet implies, this plant looks similar to an Ash (in the genus Fraxinus) and other common names include Australian Ash, Indian Ash, Kenya Coffeeshade, Mundani, Red Cedar and Shingle Tree.  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 Acrocarpus fraxinifolius.