Spathodea campanulata

Scientific nameSpathodea campanulata
English: fireball, flame tree, fountain tree, Nandi flame, Nile flame, tulip tree
Cambodia: angkie dei chmool
Indonesia: pohon hujan
Viet Nam: cây hoa tuylip châu phi
Large, upright tree [10–15 (–35) m tall] with trunk up to 170 cm in diameter with a dense wide crown; younger branches are almost hairless or have a sparse covering of short hairs, older branches thick with small white-coloured corky spots; shoots, buds and branchlets covered in yellow-brown hairs, slightly buttressed; sheds leaves at the end of the growing season.
Bark: Pale, grey-brown, smooth, rough with age.
Leaves: Green, yellow-brown soft hairs on underside, large, oncedivided (50 cm long) with (7–) 11–15 (–17) broadly oval or eggshaped leaflets with base rounded and gradually tapering towards the end (15 cm long and 7.5 cm wide), margins entire, 2–3 glands at base of each leaflet, leaves oppositely arranged on stalks that are up to 6 cm long.
Flowers: Orange, showy, tulip-shaped, in dense clusters (8–10 cm long) on long stalks (10 cm long) at the end of branches, individual flower stalks short and covered in brownish hairs; there is a yellow-flowering variety.
Fruits: Pod-like (several-seeded dry fruit that splits open at maturity), green changing to brown as they mature, elongated (17–30 cm long and 3.5–5 cm wide).
Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo,Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Fuelwood, carving, medicine, bee forage, erosion control, mulch, windbreak, shade and ornament.
Roadsides, disturbed land, forest edges/gaps and riparian areas.
Native plants are displaced by the shading effect of the large leaves, resulting in reduced biodiversity under tree canopies (Weber, 2003). In surveys in Fiji, respondents claimed that the African tulip tree competes with crops, reduces the amount of land available for grazing livestock and leads to the loss of more desirable trees that are used for medicinal purposes and/or firewood (Brown and Daigneault, 2014). It is a weed of coffee plantations in Cuba, reducing yields (Herrera-Isla et al., 2002).
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from on 24 October 2018
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Last updated on 02/15/2019 00:07