|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 hummingbirds. The 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.