Author: Steve Turner

Rare & Unusual Tropical Trees & Plants, Flowering, Fruit, Native, Palm, Bamboo, Heliconia, Hummingbird, Butterfly

Red Silk Cotton Tree (Bombax ceiba)

This tree has a straight trunk armed with conical spines, especially when young, and much more sparse with age.  It’s a massive tree, attaining a height of 80′ tall and a crown spread of 50′.  This tree produces large 6-7″ red or orange cupped flowers (depending on the cultivar), which appear in January-February before any new foliage…
Read more


January 27, 2013 0

Bauhinia blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid Tree)

Many botanists believe this tree is a hybrid between Bauhinia variegata and B. purpurea, and not a true species as its botanical name implies. The tree is sterile, so it does not produce seedpods and seeds.  This makes it an ideal Bauhinia, unlike many other Bauhinias which are invasive.   An individual tree was discovered in 1880 growing at a monastery in…
Read more


December 15, 2012 0

Long John or Ant Tree (Triplaris cumingiana)

The Long John Tree is native to Central America and tropical South America.  It is sometimes called the Ant Tree, because in its native habitat, its hollow branches are inhabited by stinging ants which protect the tree from herbivores.  This tree can attain a height of 50-70′ with an oblong canopy that remains narrow.  The…
Read more


November 25, 2012 0

Desert Cassia (Senna polyphylla)

The Desert Cassia Tree occurs from Puerto Rico to The Virgin Islands.  It is a very popular landscape tree in South Florida due to its small weeping form, attaining a height of 6-15′ and a spread of 6-10′ wide.  It is also drought tolerant and moderately salt tolerant making it a good tree for xeriscapes.  Its…
Read more


November 18, 2012 0

Colvillea racemosa (Colville’s Glory Tree)

Colville’s Glory Tree, like the Royal Poinciana Tree, is native to Madagascar.  It was named for a British Governor of Mauritius, Sir Charles Colville.  Unlike the spreading canopy of the Royal Poinciana Tree, Colville’s Glory tree is mostly upright, attaining a height of 30-50′.  It has bi-pinnate feathery leaves and spectacular orange flowers are born…
Read more


October 21, 2012 0