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Products > Colvillea racemosa
Colvillea racemosa - Colville's Glory

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Fabaceae = Pea Family
Origin: Madagascar
Flower Color: Orange
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Height: 20-30 feet
Width: 15-20 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Colvillea racemosa (Colville's Glory) fast growing tropical briefly deciduous tree that can reach 30 to 50 feet tall. It is related to and resembles in foliage the Royal Poinciana ( Delonix regia) with twice pinnate leaves holding many small mid-green colored leaflets while the Royal Poinciana has foliage that is more of a bright green color. The form of this plant is also more upright than the wild spreading Royal Poinciana and the flowers are very with this species having foot long clusters of rounded bright reddish orange red flower buds that open to show the long yellow/orange stamens. Noted as extremely showy in bloom, usually in late summer to fall in locations that have enough heat to bloom this plant but we have NEVER seen or heard of it blooming in California. Grows in full sun with regular summer water. Likely hardy to temperatures down into the high 20s (27F reported from Florida) but the limiting factor that may be preventing this plant from blooming in California could be the lack of sustained warm temperatures. The tree is native to the western coast of Madagascar where it is listed as "near threatened" on the IUCN red list. It was first collected by the Czech/Austrian botanist Wenceslas Bojer in 1824 who returned and raised plants from seed at Mauritius before sending them on to Europe. He named the genus to honor Sir Charles Colville, a Scottish officer who served under Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars and later became Governor of Mauritius and it was he who Bojer on the trip of discovery (his second) to Madagascar. The species was officially described in 1834 in the Botanical Magazine with William Hooker explicitly stating that Bojer be the author of the description, though in later references the author is sometimes listed as Bojer ex Hook.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Colvillea racemosa.