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Products > Schotia brachypetala
Schotia brachypetala - Weeping Boer-bean
Image of Schotia brachypetala
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Caesalpiniaceae (~Fabales)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 15-25 feet
Width: 15-20 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Schotia brachypetala (Weeping Boer-bean) - An attractive semi-deciduous medium sized tree to 25 feet that has a wide-spreading and rounded crown with shiny green alternate pinnately compound leaves that have 4 to 6 inch long by 1/2- to 1-inch-wide leaflets that lack a terminal leaflet. In spring to early summer appear the nectar-filled deep-red colored flowers that are composed of all red sepals, stamens, and pedicels. These flowers, which are in masses in branched inflorescences on mature wood under the foliage, are followed by 2- to 4-inch-long flattened woody dark brown seed pods.

Plant in full sun in a deep well draining soil for best results and water well during summer months - can be irrigated less but this will slow plant growth considerably. Frost hardy to around 23° F. This tree is easy to grow and makes a good shade tree or specimen tree that is attractive to people and, with its nectar laden flowers, is also attractive to many birds and insects.

Schotia brachypetala comes from warm relatively dry forests along river and stream banks of the Eastern South African north into Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The name Schotia honors Richard van der Schot, the chief gardener of the Imperial Garden at Schönbrun Austria and the specific epithet is from Greek meaning "having short petals" in reference to the flowers that have petals mostly reduced to linear filaments. The common name Weeping Boer-bean comes from the copious amounts of nectar that tend to weep or drip, which makes it particularly attractive to birds and insects. It is also commonly called Tree Fuchsia and African Walnut. This tree was introduced into California by the Italian born botanist Dr. Francesco Franceschi (AKA Emanuele Orazio Fenzi) at his Santa Barbara nursery in 1900. In our area there is a very nice specimen of this tree growing in Manning Park in Montecito. 

This information about Schotia brachypetala displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.