Monday, December 19, 2011

Butea

Butea

A small genus consisting of only 2 species of trees that are closely related to the Erythrina.

Butea monosperma ( Flame of the Forest )
A very beautiful medium size tree native to India, Sri Lanka and Burma.
Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 10 years - 17 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 inches; largest on record - 66 x 65 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet.
The trifoliate leaves consist of 3 very thick, heavily veined, diamond shaped leaflets, up to 8 x 6 or rarely as much as 9 x 10 inches. The foliage is whitish silky at first, turning to deep green.
The very showy scarlet-red flowers are borne in clusters, up to 16 inches in length, during the tropical dry season. They are followed by flattened pods.
Hardy zones 10 to 12; it can tolerate temperatures anywhere between 25 & 120 F and will grow anywhere with rainfall between 18 & 180 inches per year.
It loves heat and humidity and is excellent for coastal areas as it can tolerate sand and extreme soil salinity. They require full sun to partial shade and prefer a subtropical to tropical climate with both a wet season and a dry season. They do tolerate poorly drained soil but grow much slower. Propagation is from seed.

* photos taken on Jan 3 2011 @ Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Florida

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