The folks at Richard Lyons’ Nursery are eager to let you in on one of the best-kept secrets in the tropical plant community: The Bridalveil Tree is a great plant!
Native to northern South America, Caesalpinia granadillo is a moderate-sized tree that assumes a vase-shaped profile at maturity. In its home region, the Bridalveil reaches 35 ft., but in the thin soils of southern Florida it tends to top out about 10 ft. shorter. Its common name reflects the lacy aspect of its small leaflets. It bears yellow flowers a couple of times of year at the top of its canopy, but what really make this tree special is its bark, which exfoliates, or peels, to reveal green-gray-cream mottling. Whether Bridalveil is grown as a single specimen or in a multi-tree row, it contributes a striking element to our landscape.
Bridalveil has other desirable traits. It is easy to grow and free of major diseases or pests. Neither its flowers nor its leaflets nor its fruits creates a problem with litter. And it is capable of thriving in a wide variety of soils – alkaline or acidic, sand or clay – so long as good drainage is provided. Caesalpinia granadillo is moderately drought-tolerant once acclimated to its planting site, which should be in full sun. Some judicious pruning in the early years of these trees is beneficial to keeping branches from becoming embedded in the crotches of the lower crown.
Richard Lyons’ Nursery is offering a New Year’s special on the Bridalveil Tree. From now until the end of January 2017, you can buy these fine plants in 7-gal. containers for $35 apiece.