The African Tulip Tree Bloom (Tulipan Africano)

The African Tulip Tree  Blossom (Spathodea campanulata) 1/125 sec; f/11; ISO 160, @400mm

This is the bloom of African Tulip Tree, native to equatorial Africa. The flower’s calyx is a leathery sack filled with watery sap from which blooms a bright scarlet-orange flower that grows in large terminal clusters. This flower blooms all year-round, but its most prolific blooming is from winter until spring. The fruit consists of clusters of upright, canoe-shaped capsules about 10 inches long and 2.5 inches in diameter; these contain hundreds of small seeds that are easily disbursed by the wind. The seeds are able to float in water to germinate far from the parent trees.

It was very difficult to get a head-on shot of this blossom, due to the height of the trees. These images were taken from a younger tree that was growing from a downward cliff I was able to reach and to my surprise was able to finally get an eye level view. The tree is deciduous in temperate zones in North America, but evergreen in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
The African Tulip Tree  Blossom (Spathodea campanulata) 1/200 sec; f/9; ISO 200, @400mm

The open flowers are cup-shaped and hold rain and dew, making them attractive to many species of birds. In Neotropical gardens and parks, their nectar is popular with hummingbirdsThe generic name comes from the Ancient Greek words (spathe) and (oida), referring to the spathe-like calyx. Spathodea is a genus in the family of Bignoniaceae.
The African Tulip Tree (Spathodea campanulata1/100 sec; f/11; ISO 160; @60mm

You can observe younger trees surrounding the large one here. In Puerto Rico it blooms all year around but it’s now in its most prolific blooming stage. It is a shade-tolerant, evergreen tree. It is a member of the Bignoniaceae Family. It is also known as Flame Tree, Fountain Tree, Indian Cedar, and Santo Domingo Mahogany. The African Tulip Tree is a tall tree, growing to more than 75 feet (30 m) in some habitats. It favors moist and wet areas. 

27 thoughts on “The African Tulip Tree Bloom (Tulipan Africano)

  1. They are all over P.R. but have become invasive in Hawaii. They propagate easily this is why gardeners in Florida are aware of this. I didn't bring up Hawaii's problem because it's a whole different issue. Invasion from plants is a complex dilemma that poses so many challenges.


  2. Pingback: Malay Apple (Syzygium malaccense) | The Tropical Flowering Zone

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s