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Τropical-looking trees


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Those of you who live in Mediterranean or temperate climates but want to create a tropical looking garden, what deciduous trees do you think match this style? I am looking for a tree that will provide shade and will look tropical but have run out of ideas. Albizia is awesome but the mess that it creates is terrible. Jacaranda is great but too big for my small garden.

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Ficus Auriculata has giant leaves and can be aggressively pruned back, but it probably does have invasive roots.  Mine do great down to about 40F, but start losing leaves in the mid 30s.  At 30F or below they burn to the ground but resprout new trunks in the spring.

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1 hour ago, T in Vista said:

Delonix regia? 

IMG_2566.jpeg

That would be awesome. I am willing to give it a try and I actually already have one in a pot, but it is very marginal in that climate. Winter temperatures can go down to 32 F some nights.. perhaps even 30 F. Not sure if Delonix would forgive that.

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previously known as ego

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34 minutes ago, ego said:

That would be awesome. I am willing to give it a try and I actually already have one in a pot, but it is very marginal in that climate. Winter temperatures can go down to 32 F some nights.. perhaps even 30 F. Not sure if Delonix would forgive that.

They grow here, and lows can get down to 32-30F, or even a deg or two lower for a couple nights during the winter.. 

From my recent walk around the neighborhood:

IMG_8731.thumb.JPG.ddfd7e5d48f7831dac4e2dcde927d1cb.JPG

IMG_8743.thumb.JPG.6f497f21e82760d23235fc28eb801b0c.JPG


Closest neighbor to the house, has 3. The big kid below, little guy under it on the lower left, and the older sibling ( Shot #2 )

IMG_8782-Copy.thumb.JPG.643495460b7603678d17c1476224aa04.JPG

IMG_8786-Copy.thumb.JPG.ed56890b7148a049d80938b63032dc71.JPG

..Found another Cassia Fistula  in a section of my overall neighborhood i plan on wandering around soon too..

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I think Tropical I think bean family (tropics often have poor soils so beans are more dominant), Bignonciae, and Malvaceae (hibiscus family) and bird-pollinated and moth-pollinated species, also species that produce fleshy fruits (tropics have lower winds so more plants are reliant on animal dispersal).

 

With that in mind

I'd look into an Erythrina, Coral Tree/Bean species

There is a very nice sterile hybrid called Erythrina x bidwilli and some species are shorter like Erythrina humeana.

I also would check out some of the hybrids of Brazilian Abutilon species if they are available there. They function like mini maple trees if the soil is rich enough (definitely add compost in). These would likely benefit from being under loose shade e.g. olive or accacia

Abutilon-Strybing-Red-2a-1024x1024-2722203167.jpg.8bdb52330a1457371d220070a6260aea.jpg

ac9e6a8fda30f18affb690bdfcf3e3ee-361721245.jpg.dce0a0238e3a3d3ca426af3fa5795b18.jpg

I personally grow Abutilon 'Canary Bird' and Abutilon megaponticum (above, less tree-like) under oaks in FL they are quite shade tolerant.

Ficus auriculata gets about as big as Jacaranda and there are dwarf selections of Jacaranda

 

Edit: enter made my comment send too soon

Edited by Calosphace
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Collector of native, ornithophilous, Stachytarpheta, iridescent, and blue or teal-flowering plants

 

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19 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

They grow here, and lows can get down to 32-30F, or even a deg or two lower for a couple nights during the winter.. 

From my recent walk around the neighborhood:

IMG_8731.thumb.JPG.ddfd7e5d48f7831dac4e2dcde927d1cb.JPG

IMG_8743.thumb.JPG.6f497f21e82760d23235fc28eb801b0c.JPG


Closest neighbor to the house, has 3. The big kid below, little guy under it on the lower left, and the older sibling ( Shot #2 )

IMG_8782-Copy.thumb.JPG.643495460b7603678d17c1476224aa04.JPG

IMG_8786-Copy.thumb.JPG.ed56890b7148a049d80938b63032dc71.JPG

..Found another Cassia Fistula  in a section of my overall neighborhood i plan on wandering around soon too..

Our winter lasts from mid December to mid March. During those three months we get a few cold spells. Also it rains a lot. If I remember correctly, in Phoenix your "real winter" only lasts 1-2 months? 

I think that tropical trees can withstand the cold for small durations of time. I saw Cocos in northern India where temperatures can go as low as 40 F. The thing is though that winter there lasts 3-4 weeks!

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11 minutes ago, Calosphace said:

I think Tropical I think bean family (tropics often have poor soils so beans are more dominant) and Malvaceae (hibiscus family) and bird-pollinated and moth-pollinated species, also species that produce fleshy fruits (tropics have lower winds so more plants are reliant on animal dispersal).

 

With that in mind

I'd look into an Erythrina, Coral Tree/Bean species

There is a very nice sterile hybrid called Erythrina x bidwilli

 

 

Ficus auriculata gets about as big as Jacaranda and there are dwarf selections of Jacaranda

Erythrina is a nice tree indeed but too short to shade the garden! Ficus Auriculata would be difficult in our climate... I think it is more cold sensitive than Erythrina; probably as cold sensitive as Delonix? Also it would require an awful amount of water during our long, hot, dry summers.

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Sorry comment sent too soon but I did have some others lined up that I added to post. Most coral trees can definitely take that cold the hybrid I mentioned has one parent native to where I live and it ranges up into a region that is zone 7. We expect lows in 20s and once a decade we get teens usually. Ficus auriculata is a hardy plant for us we had several days in 20s with low day of 24 and it survived. we did cut it all the way to the ground and it is now over 10 feet again lol. There are Erythrina that woudl get larger like crista-galli (Bidwilli's other parent). I'm just not sure what the right size would be if Jacaranda are too big but that too small hmm..

I would recommend using a tool like inaturalist site and then plugging in a desired family + Greece and hit species for a look and try to find stuff that looks tropical to you.

Carob is native to where you live and as far as I know it is a small tree that can be maintained. It would look incredible shaped into a small tree with bromeliads or similar underneath and mounted to it (also a Laelia anceps orchid which would be hardy there).  This could be combined with European fan palms and the like.

carob.jpg.2d314971f29b79b081a3ef26beb52fa5.jpg

Also I know you said deciduous but southern Greece has a really cool endemic species of small maple Acer sempervirens that is semi-evergreen with glossy green leaves, looks tropical to me (reminds me of a lot of tree members of hibiscus family) these should have a slow growth rate so size could be controlled

4364large-4027234165.thumb.jpg.68aca75e7ea902480fbab20c25e3bb68.jpg

acer031-4033187511.thumb.jpg.de94cd02f5df6b47fb41730f5bab7935.jpg

Also of course there is Bay leaf tree as another small glossy tree but I believe that is evergreen as well.

Other evergreens:

For exotics I wonder if Feijoa/Pineapple guava is available? It might need more rainfall though again I live in FL so I'm not sure how it would compare. You would need two for fruit but they can be kept quite small.

FEIJOASELL.-1-1300095600.thumb.jpg.91a0dfd654e271ec575ff115fceead1f.jpg

1996c8df491c467af620357cea98329b-535869902.thumb.jpg.98cc7370b7711c6e63939bf6c0192e13.jpg

There's also Callistemon / Red Bottlebrush.
And I'm unfamiliar but on West Coast of US they grow a lot of other weird aussie plants, wonder if Grevillea would do well in Greece? I wouldn't think it'd be invasive as the birds that pollinate them aren't there and many are hybrids at this point

Edited by Calosphace
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21 minutes ago, Calosphace said:

Sorry comment sent too soon but I did have some others lined up that I added to post. Most coral trees can definitely take that cold the hybrid I mentioned has one parent native to where I live and it ranges up into a region that is zone 7. We expect lows in 20s and once a decade we get teens usually. Ficus auriculata is a hardy plant for us we had several days in 20s with low day of 24 and it survived. we did cut it all the way to the groudn and it is now over 10 feet again lol

I would recommend using a tool like inaturalist site and then plugging in a desired family + Greece and hit species for a look and try to find stuff that looks tropical to you.

Carob is native to where you live and as far as I know it is a small tree that can be maintained. It would look incredible shaped into a small tree with bromeliads or similar underneath and mounted to it (also a Laelia anceps orchid which would be hardy there).  This could be combined with European fan palms and the like.

carob.jpg.2d314971f29b79b081a3ef26beb52fa5.jpg

Also I know you said deciduous but southern Greece has a really cool endemic species of small maple Acer sempervirens that is semi-evergreen with glossy green leaves, looks tropical to me (reminds me of a lot of tree members of hibiscus family) these should have a slow growth rate so size could be controlled

4364large-4027234165.thumb.jpg.68aca75e7ea902480fbab20c25e3bb68.jpg

acer031-4033187511.thumb.jpg.de94cd02f5df6b47fb41730f5bab7935.jpg

Also of course there is Bay leaf tree as another small glossy tree but I believe that is evergreen as well.

For exotics I wonder if Feijoa/Pineapple guava is available? It might need more rainfall though again I live in FL so I'm not sure how it would compare. You would need two for fruit but they can be kept quite small.

FEIJOASELL.-1-1300095600.thumb.jpg.91a0dfd654e271ec575ff115fceead1f.jpg

1996c8df491c467af620357cea98329b-535869902.thumb.jpg.98cc7370b7711c6e63939bf6c0192e13.jpg

Wow some great ideas there. Especially that Laelia orchid, you're so right, it can take from 20 to 100 F! We get 110 F here sometimes, I hope she can take that too. I'll def give it a go.

I agree that carob tree looks nice and with some espaliering I could make it look dramatic. The common fig (Ficus Carica) could also look dramatic if espaliered into a wide acacia-like umbrella shape.

Guava is a bit too small. I need a fairly tall tree that can cast shade over half of the garden at least.

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26 minutes ago, ego said:

Our winter lasts from mid December to mid March. During those three months we get a few cold spells. Also it rains a lot. If I remember correctly, in Phoenix your "real winter" only lasts 1-2 months? 

I think that tropical trees can withstand the cold for small durations of time. I saw Cocos in northern India where temperatures can go as low as 40 F. The thing is though that winter there lasts 3-4 weeks!

True, coldest part of winter is short -typically- but the threat of nights dipping down to the lower 30s can extend to about the first week in March, ..and / or occur in late November ( Almost certain we've had a night drop into the 30s in October too )

If you look at places like Los Angeles and San Diego, they get a ton more rain than we typically see during the winter, and can see extend periods where the Marine Layer keeps things cool -er into the spring / early summer ..Think about last year's weather out there.. Royal Poinciana, even specimens located closer to the coast where the fog / marine layer can be quite persistent at times shrugged it off ..even if they flowered a tad later than usual..

Would highly recommend looking over posts by Delonix1 in the " Grows on you " gardening forum.. All sorts of stuff growing around San Diego most people might not assume could be grown in a winter wet / cool at times area.

As mentioned before, here are other Delonix sps too ..decaryi, pumila, elata, and leucantha  ..Growing the first two here and have had no issues w/ them suffering cold damage when it gets cold / wetter in the winter. Fantastic, older specimens growing around S. Cal. 

D. elata  and leucantha are still rare, but is supposedly as hardy as the rest, maybe hardier.. Think D. floribunda, a weird one among the Genus, is being grown out there atm too.

Have heard from a friend that Covillea racemosa  might be a tad hardier than R.P.  Several specimens being grown in in S. Cal now.  While tucked under / protected by a massive Mesquite, there's even a specimen that has survived...-at least- 5 or 6 winters in Tucson where it can snow once or twice in the winter. How long it remains alive there? we'll see.  Good indication it has some deg. of hardiness though.


As far as Coral Trees are concerned, would look over pictures of E. X Syksii, E. fusca,  coralloides  ( **Now lumped in with Erythrina americana ** ) E. lysistemon (  if i remember correctly ), latissima, and falcata  ..All are grown out there.  many massive specimens all over S. Cal.

Leaves on E coralloides / americana  will turn bright gold / Orange -ish in the fall before dropping..   If it wasn't so hot here, i'd have one planted in the yard.

A bunch of Tabebuia / Handroanthus to choose from too..

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9 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

True, coldest part of winter is short -typically- but the threat of nights dipping down to the lower 30s can extend to about the first week in March, ..and / or occur in late November ( Almost certain we've had a night drop into the 30s in October too )

If you look at places like Los Angeles and San Diego, they get a ton more rain than we typically see during the winter, and can see extend periods where the Marine Layer keeps things cool -er into the spring / early summer ..Think about last year's weather out there.. Royal Poinciana, even specimens located closer to the coast where the fog / marine layer can be quite persistent at times shrugged it off ..even if they flowered a tad later than usual..

Would highly recommend looking over posts by Delonix1 in the " Grows on you " gardening forum.. All sorts of stuff growing around San Diego most people might not assume could be grown in a winter wet / cool at times area.

As mentioned before, here are other Delonix sps too ..decaryi, pumila, elata, and leucantha  ..Growing the first two here and have had no issues w/ them suffering cold damage when it gets cold / wetter in the winter. Fantastic, older specimens growing around S. Cal. 

D. elata  and leucantha are still rare, but is supposedly as hardy as the rest, maybe hardier.. Think D. floribunda, a weird one among the Genus, is being grown out there atm too.

Have heard from a friend that Covillea racemosa  might be a tad hardier than R.P.  Several specimens being grown in in S. Cal now.  While tucked under / protected by a massive Mesquite, there's even a specimen that has survived...-at least- 5 or 6 winters in Tucson where it can snow once or twice in the winter. How long it remains alive there? we'll see.  Good indication it has some deg. of hardiness though.


As far as Coral Trees are concerned, would look over pictures of E. X Syksii, E. fusca,  coralloides  ( **Now lumped in with Erythrina americana ** ) E. lysistemon (  if i remember correctly ), latissima, and falcata  ..All are grown out there.  many massive specimens all over S. Cal.

Leaves on E coralloides / americana  will turn bright gold / Orange -ish in the fall before dropping..   If it wasn't so hot here, i'd have one planted in the yard.

A bunch of Tabebuia / Handroanthus to choose from too..

Interesting information, thank you! My Delonix is 2 years old now. She produces new leaves constantly but the height gap between them is small, so overall she is still very short. Could be because she is in a pot. In April I will plant her in the ground and if she makes it, then that's it!

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45 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Have heard from a friend that Covillea racemosa  might be a tad hardier than R.P.  Several specimens being grown in in S. Cal now.  While tucked under / protected by a massive Mesquite, there's even a specimen that has survived...-at least- 5 or 6 winters in Tucson where it can snow once or twice in the winter. How long it remains alive there? we'll see.  Good indication it has some deg. of hardiness though.

Oh dear, I just googled this tree and I fell in love. I need it in my life. Thank you so much.

Btw do you think Spathodea Campanulata has a chance?

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5 minutes ago, ego said:

Interesting information, thank you! My Delonix is 2 years old now. She produces new leaves constantly but the height gap between them is small, so overall she is still very short. Could be because she is in a pot. In April I will plant her in the ground and if she makes it, then that's it!

:greenthumb: That's the spirit, lol..  Will say that here at least, those growing them have recommended offering protection to young specimens -for the first couple years in the ground at least- Highly doubt my neighbor protects their smaller ones though.


I have a bunch of seedlings atm as well that would probably look much better if i could plant them.  Will be going into larger pots next year, Same w/ my D. pumila.  D. decaryi i have may be up for adoption.. No room for it here.

A screen shot of a Colvillea at the San Diego Botanical Garden from Delonix1's page on Grows on You. He used to post here under a different screen name but moved on? ..i guess?  Sad because his photo observations of stuff growing around S.D. were top shelf information..

Screenshot2023-11-11at11-54-33Colvillearacemosa-ColvillesGloryGrowsonYou.png.f9cabe136977cf9148422049088c46ae.png


On a side note: ..For anyone who thinks " Fall Color " is something that is restricted to temperate areas, ..Not so fast..  Plenty of options for some fall color from the Dry Tropics..  An example from Central Sonora, observed and photographed by the great Mark Dimmitt..  Already growing some species within the Genus Bursera, that color up before the leaves are shed. Need to find the Jatropha sp. mentioned. growing some other subtropical  stuff that colors up as well:  A yard the size of what i have now, or bigger in the future, 50% of my landscape will contain subtropical trees like these that add some leafy-colored autumnal seasonality to the garden.

Screenshot2023-11-08at22-00-04AlamosSeasons.png.fd7e5c55c00c1ba4c2442863f8285975.png

Screenshot2023-11-08at22-00-39AlamosSeasons.png.548a2034b57035a62de9adc187f9a2c8.png

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37 minutes ago, ego said:

Oh dear, I just googled this tree and I fell in love. I need it in my life. Thank you so much.

Btw do you think Spathodea Campanulata has a chance?

As long as it is placed where it isn't drowned during the winter, i'd say yes, you may be able to grow Spathodea.  Reasonably common sight around S. Cal / S.D.  Was a specimen  -that i've seen w/ my own eyes- locally, but it was cut down when the park it was growing at was remodeled.  May be others growing around the Valley though. Get it through a couple winters so it develops some older wood, and it should withstand a little cold w/ out too much setback.

Take a look at an observational report from here: https://www.smgrowers.com/info/spathodea.asp

It's kind of slow to get going, but, if you can find seed, South African Wisteria Tree, Bolusanthus speciosus, has also apparently done well in S. Cal. U. of AZ. Campus Arboretum in Tucson has 3 specimens growing down there as well..

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In my opinion, the best flowering trees for our Mediterranean climate are Tabebuias(Handroanthus) and Ceibas.  Some other good choices would be Caesalpinia ferrea and Colvillea racemosa.  These are all pretty easy to grow and well adapted to our climate.   Australia has some good choices:  Cassia Brewsteri is a killer, albeit slow growing.   Brachychiton are well suited to our mediterranean climate, but the best ones tend to be fairly large.   For a quick growing option, Acacia spectabilis is a good choice, but they tend to be relatively short-lived.   Most if not all the trees  on this list will need little water once established, which is part and parcel with Mediterranean compatible plants.  

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2 hours ago, Peter said:

In my opinion, the best flowering trees for our Mediterranean climate are Tabebuias(Handroanthus) and Ceibas.  Some other good choices would be Caesalpinia ferrea and Colvillea racemosa.  These are all pretty easy to grow and well adapted to our climate.   Australia has some good choices:  Cassia Brewsteri is a killer, albeit slow growing.   Brachychiton are well suited to our mediterranean climate, but the best ones tend to be fairly large.   For a quick growing option, Acacia spectabilis is a good choice, but they tend to be relatively short-lived.   Most if not all the trees  on this list will need little water once established, which is part and parcel with Mediterranean compatible plants.  

All of them are good ideas! I am still thinking about the Spathodea though. Its just so beautiful even if marginal in our climate.

Tbh I don't care if the tree is flowering or not. As long as it provides shade and makes a statement in the garden with its shape and/or foliage. So if you have any such non-flowering trees in mind please let me know. 

My ideal garden is one that looks as close as possible to a tropical rainforest. And there are very few flowers in a rainforest. Its all about the leaves.

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On 11/11/2023 at 10:19 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

As long as it is placed where it isn't drowned during the winter, i'd say yes, you may be able to grow Spathodea.  Reasonably common sight around S. Cal / S.D.  Was a specimen  -that i've seen w/ my own eyes- locally, but it was cut down when the park it was growing at was remodeled.  May be others growing around the Valley though. Get it through a couple winters so it develops some older wood, and it should withstand a little cold w/ out too much setback.

Take a look at an observational report from here: https://www.smgrowers.com/info/spathodea.asp

It's kind of slow to get going, but, if you can find seed, South African Wisteria Tree, Bolusanthus speciosus, has also apparently done well in S. Cal. U. of AZ. Campus Arboretum in Tucson has 3 specimens growing down there as well..

Any Kigelias around California? Do you think it stands a chance? I already have two 1-year old specimens in pots. I think I'll put one inside this winter and leave one out to see if it survives..

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Kigelia does very well here.  Gets to be a big tree over time however.  As long as you're looking at larger trees, check out  Castanospermum australe 

 

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San Fernando Valley, California

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1 hour ago, Peter said:

Kigelia does very well here.  Gets to be a big tree over time however.  As long as you're looking at larger trees, check out  Castanospermum australe 

 

What zone are we talking about Peter? I'm 9B so temperatures can go below 32F some nights. Perhaps as low as 26F. You think Kigelia can make it?

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All the trees I recommended might make it; other factors come into play than just the ultimate temperature, but you would probably be at the outer limit of survivability, at least when young.  I get into the low 30's every year and sometimes into the upper 20's, (although not for a while now), and I've had all those trees growing at some point with little or no damage.  Delonix in my experience, is more tender and I've lost several over the years

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San Fernando Valley, California

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13 minutes ago, Peter said:

All the trees I recommended might make it; other factors come into play than just the ultimate temperature, but you would probably be at the outer limit of survivability, at least when young.  I get into the low 30's every year and sometimes into the upper 20's, (although not for a while now), and I've had all those trees growing at some point with little or no damage.  Delonix in my experience, is more tender and I've lost several over the years

A friend here told me yesterday that he lost both his Delonix and his Spathodea when the temperature went down to 33 F one night; both were unprotected.

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11 hours ago, ego said:

A friend here told me yesterday that he lost both his Delonix and his Spathodea when the temperature went down to 33 F one night; both were unprotected.

How old was it / they?  What were the weather conditions leading up to what killed them?  Soil planted in?

We get down to 33F a few times almost each year.. As you've seen, -at least- 3 good sized Royal Poinciana in my immediate neighborhood, numerous others around the valley. Had a couple mornings down to 30F last year. What foliage was left on the noneighborhood Royal Poinciana bronzed a little, but otherwise shrugged at that cold..

 

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I am the friend who lost both Delonix and Spathodea at 33F (and a high of 37F), but both plants were grown in pots, so they were much more sensitive to cold than if they were sown in the ground. Also, both plants were young (3 to 4 years old) and they had thin trunks (despite the fact that Spathodea already had it's first bloom). Winter in Athens can be very harsh, with cold winters having many days with highs below 50F  and this makes heat loving plants suffer. On the other hand I have a 15 foot tall papaya in my backyard, at a sunny south facing position. This fall I sowed a Delonix in the ground at the same position. 

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On 11/13/2023 at 5:56 AM, Peter said:

In my opinion, the best flowering trees for our Mediterranean climate are Tabebuias(Handroanthus) and Ceibas.    

Peter, are Tabebuias evergreen in California? I have read they drop their leaves in the dry season, which in a Mediterranean case means in the summer. Do you think one can keep it evergreen year round by watering it?

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20 hours ago, Than said:

Peter, are Tabebuias evergreen in California? I have read they drop their leaves in the dry season, which in a Mediterranean case means in the summer. Do you think one can keep it evergreen year round by watering it?

I'm not Peter and don't live in California but in Eastern Spain (rain season in autumn and practically no rain in summer), Tabebuia/Handroanthus behaves like Jacaranda just flowering a few weeks earlier. The trees keep the leaves for most of the year and are nearly leafless before flowering. So, the leaf/flower cycle seems here more stressed by temperature and daylight hours than precipitation. 

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44 minutes ago, iko. said:

I'm not Peter and don't live in California but in Eastern Spain (rain season in autumn and practically no rain in summer), Tabebuia/Handroanthus behaves like Jacaranda just flowering a few weeks earlier. The trees keep the leaves for most of the year and are nearly leafless before flowering. So, the leaf/flower cycle seems here more stressed by temperature and daylight hours than precipitation. 

Good to know. Thank you

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57 minutes ago, iko. said:

I'm not Peter and don't live in California but in Eastern Spain (rain season in autumn and practically no rain in summer), Tabebuia/Handroanthus behaves like Jacaranda just flowering a few weeks earlier. The trees keep the leaves for most of the year and are nearly leafless before flowering. So, the leaf/flower cycle seems here more stressed by temperature and daylight hours than precipitation. 

Yep,  " common " / really cold tolerant sps, like Tab. / Handroanthus  chrysotrichus / chrysanthus / umbellatus,  drop most / all leaves / flower while nekked.

Because of it's large range, the common, pink -flowering sp, H. impetiginosus, can go either way, depending on origin and how cold it gets where it is grown.  Pretty sure H. heptaphyllus can also drop all it's leaves also.  Have a specimen of H. impetiginosus  of Central Sonoran origin that hangs onto most of it's leaves, even though they're a bit bronzed atm from our recent cold spell.  Mother specimen in Tucson does pretty much the same thing. Slower grower compared to trees where the parent material originated in S. America.  ..Or has been my own observations between the two distinctly different types.

Only, mainly evergreen Tabs would be the species considered more tender like Tabebuia aurea / caraiba, which can still loose a good proportion of it's leaves before flowering,  ..or was my observation of specimens planted around Bradenton / Sarasota,  ...Tab. pallida, and heterophylla, hung onto their foliage the longest / all year,  there at least

Think Tabebuia bahamensis,  and the 2 rare, red - flowering sps. from Puerto Rico, Tabebuia haemantha  and schumanniana,   ..Possibly some others from S. America  are evergreen / nearly evergreen also.

Haven't seen any specimens of any of the mainly evergreen / smooth-leaved sps out here or in CA  -yet-,  so can't say how they perform in either area's climate.  Pink / white-ish  - flowering sps, like Tab. pallida / heterophylla, might do alright, IMO.

Overall, both Genus are massive ( Tabebuia  being much larger than Handroanthus  though ) ..LOTS of seldom seen / yet- to- be- cultivated species.

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24 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Yep,  " common " / really cold tolerant sps, like Tab. / Handroanthus  chrysotrichus / chrysanthus / umbellatus,  drop most / all leaves / flower while nekked.

Because of it's large range, the common, pink -flowering sp, H. impetiginosus, can go either way, depending on origin and how cold it gets where it is grown.  Pretty sure H. heptaphyllus can also drop all it's leaves also.  Have a specimen of H. impetiginosus  of Central Sonoran origin that hangs onto most of it's leaves, even though they're a bit bronzed atm from our recent cold spell.  Mother specimen in Tucson does pretty much the same thing. Slower grower compared to trees where the parent material originated in S. America.  ..Or has been my own observations between the two distinctly different types.

Only, mainly evergreen Tabs would be the species considered more tender like Tabebuia aurea / caraiba, which can still loose a good proportion of it's leaves before flowering,  ..or was my observation of specimens planted around Bradenton / Sarasota,  ...Tab. pallida, and heterophylla, hung onto their foliage the longest / all year,  there at least

Think Tabebuia bahamensis,  and the 2 rare, red - flowering sps. from Puerto Rico, Tabebuia haemantha  and schumanniana,   ..Possibly some others from S. America  are evergreen / nearly evergreen also.

Haven't seen any specimens of any of the mainly evergreen / smooth-leaved sps out here or in CA  -yet-,  so can't say how they perform in either area's climate.  Pink / white-ish  - flowering sps, like Tab. pallida / heterophylla, might do alright, IMO.

Overall, both Genus are massive ( Tabebuia  being much larger than Handroanthus  though ) ..LOTS of seldom seen / yet- to- be- cultivated species.

I wonder if it is genetic. As you said you noticed some tree keeping some leaves and so does the mother plant. Here some Melia azedarach have dropped all leaves but some others still have quite a few., and I don't think it has to do with how exposed they are, or the microclimates, because I've noticed that some of those who retain leaves are actually in exposed, north-facing gardens. I wonder if their children would also do the same.. I may go take cuttings.

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10 minutes ago, Than said:

I wonder if it is genetic. As you said you noticed some tree keeping some leaves and so does the mother plant. Here some Melia azedarach have dropped all leaves but some others still have quite a few., and I don't think it has to do with how exposed they are, or the microclimates, because I've noticed that some of those who retain leaves are actually in exposed, north-facing gardens. I wonder if their children would also do the same.. I may go take cuttings.

Many factors involved, inc. genetics as well.. 

If there is one tree i'd never plant -anywhere- near my yard / neighborhood, its 🤬 China Berry.. Talk about a nightmare, lol. 100's of other, far better choices to research.

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12 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Many factors involved, inc. genetics as well.. 

If there is one tree i'd never plant -anywhere- near my yard / neighborhood, its 🤬 China Berry.. Talk about a nightmare, lol. 100's of other, far better choices to research.

Why's that? They are beautiful..

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previously known as ego

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  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)
On 11/11/2023 at 7:10 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

..Found another Cassia Fistula  in a section of my overall neighborhood i plan on wandering around soon too..

How's the Cassia doing? I am not into yellow flowers but I think this fast growing tree might be suitable for making light shade. I also love the fact it is Asian. Not sure if it can take light frosts.

Also I have read it is deciduous but not sure if it will ever drop all its leaves at once.

Edited by Than

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46 minutes ago, Than said:

How's the Cassia doing? I am not into yellow flowers but I think this fast growing tree might be suitable for making light shade. I also love the fact it is Asian. Not sure if it can take light frosts.

Also I have read it is deciduous but not sure if it will ever drop all its leaves at once.

Doing fine..

C fistula drops it's leaves -briefly- right as they start flowering in late May - June ( Here )  Full of leaves the rest of the year otherwise, even through our colder mornings.

Because most people don't water them often enough during the warmer months here, our C. fistula specimens ..ones i've come across so far at least,  are typically shorter / skinnier than those i've seen in FL.


In FL, ...Clearwater / St. Pete, Bradenton / Sarasota areas at least,  have seen some BIG specimens.. ...approx.  30'H X 20-30' Canopy Dia.

Not super common out there -yet-,  It has been grown in certain parts of Central CA.  Numerous others growing around S. Cal as well.

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1 minute ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Doing fine..

C fistula drops it's leaves -briefly- right as they start flowering in late May - June ( Here )  Full of leaves the rest of the year otherwise, even through our colder mornings.

Because most people don't water them often enough during the warmer months here, our C. fistula specimens ..ones i've come across so far at least,  are typically shorter / skinnier than those i've seen in FL.


In FL, ...Clearwater / St. Pete, Bradenton / Sarasota areas at least,  have seen some BIG specimens.. ...approx.  30'H X 20-30' Canopy Dia.

Not super common out there -yet-,  It has been grown in certain parts of Central CA.  Numerous others growing around S. Cal as well.

Interesting info as always, thank you. I think I'll try Cassia Marginata, alias Cassia Roxburghii first. The flower colour appeals more to me. I hope it's as hardy as fistula.

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previously known as ego

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Since you specified deciduous and hardy, I thought I'd suggest one that isn't really tropical at all, but looks like it could be: the Japanese magnolia. The advantage is it will always be hardy in your zone. You can get cultivars that grow to any size you want, from large to small. Big leaves and smooth white bark and showy flowers, like a true tropical might have.

Ann_Magnolia_4.webp

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Woodville, FL

zone 8b

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53 minutes ago, Than said:

Interesting info as always, thank you. I think I'll try Cassia Marginata, alias Cassia Roxburghii first. The flower colour appeals more to me. I hope it's as hardy as fistula.

Tough call ..I've heard both sides of the coin.. Some have mentioned that species having C. fistula level hardiness, while others have mentioned it being a little more tender  ...At least when younger.  Beautiful tree regardless and one i may try here ..even if i have no room and any saplings i get going end up in other yards here. 

While pink vs. the red / orange-ish colored flowers, C bakeriana is supposedly reasonably hardy.  I've heard of a cross involving C. bakeriana but emphasize  " heard of " ...Yet to see one but would be pretty cool if it exists and crossed w/ something like marginata ..and / or fistula. .

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10 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Tough call ..I've heard both sides of the coin.. Some have mentioned that species having C. fistula level hardiness, while others have mentioned it being a little more tender  ...At least when younger.  Beautiful tree regardless and one i may try here ..even if i have no room and any saplings i get going end up in other yards here. 

While pink vs. the red / orange-ish colored flowers, C bakeriana is supposedly reasonably hardy.  I've heard of a cross involving C. bakeriana but emphasize  " heard of " ...Yet to see one but would be pretty cool if it exists and crossed w/ something like marginata ..and / or fistula. .

Hmmmm bakeriana is a tad less beautiful (initially I was planning to only allow red flowers in the garden, like in some Balinese gardens I visited and stole my heart) than Marginata but if it is hardier indeed then it is worth trying. Unfortunately I only have access to seeds (you guys are lucky to live in the US, at least till the elections). Do we know anything about how long Cassia seeds remain viable?

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