Monday, December 19, 2011

Pithecellobium

Pithecellobium

A genus of close to 20 species of trees native to subtropical to tropical regions of the Americas. They have very attractive foliage and also nectar rich flowers.
They prefer just about any decent well drained soil. Propagation is from
a) seed soaked in sulfuric acid for 35 minutes before sowing.
b) greenwood cuttings

Pithecellobium arboreum
A fast growing large tree, reaching a maximum size of 120 x 80 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 feet.
The leaves are up to 16 inches in length.
Hardy zones 10 to 12, very drought and salt tolerant.

Pithecellobium celebicum ( Wallaceodendron )
Also called Banuyo. A fast growing, very large tree, reaching a maximum size of 230 x 60 feet, that is similar in appearance to the Neem Tree. It makes an excellent tall street tree for tropical climates.
The leaves are composed of up to 14 very glossy, leaflets that are reddish at first, turning to intensely green.
Hardy zone 11 to 12. Very tolerant of salt and moderately tolerant of drought.

Pithecellobium dulce
A very attractive, rapid growing long lived, dense, large, evergreen tree native to Mexico and Central America. It has become an invasive weed in Hawaii where it invades native vegetation. Some records include: 9 months - 12 feet; 2 years - 16 feet; 5 years - 33 feet; largest on record - 100 x 110 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 feet.
The leaves are composed of leaflets up to 3 inches, that last up to 2 years.
The showy small white flowers are borne in clusters.
They are followed by pods, up to 6 inches in length.
The bark is gray and smooth. The twigs are very spiny.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 in sun or shade on sandy, well drained loam. It is both drought and salt tolerant. It does require a yearly rainfall exceeding 16 inches unless irrigated. Vigorous and healthy even in Yuma, AZ extreme heat. It may become invasive in some tropical gardens with the thorny seedlings appearing everywhere.

* excellent video found on Youtube


Pithecellobium flexicaule ( Texas Ebony )
Also called Ebony Blackbead. Also called Ebanopsis ebano. An dense canopied evergreen to semi-evergreen medium-size tree reaching around 30 feet, that is native to southern Texas into eastern Mexico. It is common within its small native range. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 3 years - 9 x 7 feet; largest on record - 70 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet.
An outstanding shade tree for warm dry climates. The Texas Ebony has a very deep rootsystem.
The bipinnate leaves, up to 2 x 3 inches, are divided up into 4 to 6 pinnae of leathery deep green leaflets, up to 0.5 inches.
The very fragrant, creamy to bright yellow flowers are borne in cylindrical spikes, up to 2 inches in length, during summer.
The curved pods, up to 6 x 1 inches, are thick and hairy. The pods persist until the following summer.
The gray stems are abundantly armed with thorns, up to 0.5 inches in length.
The bark bark is very rough.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 tolerating as low as 10 F in sun to partial shade.
Texas Ebony is extremely drought tolerant as well as salt tolerant. Resistant to root rot. Despite it's origins, it does thrive in more humid climates including milder parts of the southeastern U.S.

* photos taken on Aug 23 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC

* historic archive photo


Pithecellobium keyensis
Also called Pithecollobium quadalupense. A fast growing, evergreen, dense, large shrub to small tree, native to pine woods in south Florida, the Caribbean and southeast Mexico. Some records include: largest on record - 23 x 16 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 inches.
The bipinnate leaves are composed of leaflets, up to 2 x 1.6 inches in size. The foliage is glossy mid to deep green.
The flowers are white.
Hardy zones 9b to 12 in full sun to partial shade. Very drought and salt tolerant.

* historic archive photo


Pithecellobium leucospermum
A moderate growing tree reaching a maximum size of 20 x 20 feet, that is native to most of Mexico.
The leaves are composed of leaflets, up to 0.7 inches.
Hardy zones 10 to 12

Pithecellobium mexicanum ( Mexican Ebony )
Also called Havardia mexicana. A fast growing, strong trunked rounded tree, reaching a maximum size of 45 x 40 feet, that is native to the Sonoran Desert and the Baja Peninsula in Mexico.
The pinnately-compound leaves are composed of tiny, rounded leaflets, up to 0.25 inches long. The foliage is gray-green.
The creamy-white flowerballs appear during early spring.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 in full sun

Pithecellobium pallens ( Huajillo )
Also called Havardia pallens. A small tree native to southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. Some records include: 2 years - 8 feet; 7 years - 12 feet; largest on record - 41 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot.
The bipinnate leaves, are composed of 8 to 10 pinnae, each with 30 to 40 leaflets, up to 0.3 inches.
The attractive globular white flowers, up to 1 inch, are borne in clusters.
They are followed by straight flat, brown pods, up to 5 inches in length.
The stems are armed with small spines.
Hardy zones 8b to 10 ( tolerating as low as 15 F ) in full sun to partial shade on just about any well drained soil. Drought tolerant but also thrives in climates much more humid than its native range, including the Gulf Coast and Georgia coast.

'Sierra Sparkler'
Less seed pods, otherwise identical.

Pithecellobium unguis-cati ( Catclaw Blackbead )
A medium size tree native to southern Florida and the Caribbean as well as tropical parts of Mexico.
Some records include: 2 years - 6 feet; 7 years - 9 feet; 10 years - 11 feet; largest on record - 90 x 93 feet with a trunk diameter of 55 inches.
The almost palmate leaves are composed of 4 shiny green leaflets, each up to 2 x 1.5 inches.
The globular yellowish-green flowers are borne in racemes.
They are followed by reddish-brown seed pods, up to 6 inches in length, that contain black seeds.
Hardy zone 10 to 12. Vigorous and healthy even in Yuma, AZ extreme heat.

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