African Tulip Tree, Fountain Tree

Scientific Name : Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv.
Common Name : African Tulip Tree, Fountain Tree
Chinese Name : 火焰樹, 火焰木, 噴泉樹, 火燒花
Local distribution status : Exotic species

Anecdotes on plants

Origins From its English name “Africa Tulip Tree”, the species is originated from Africa.
Meanings of names Its Chinese name “Firing Flower (火燒花)” describes its orange-red inflorescences, which look like fireballs from a distance. When in full blossom, the whole tree seems to be on fire, therefore also given it the Chinese name “Flaming wood (火焰木)”. Since its flower buds can store water before blossom, travellers can take it to quench their thirst. Hence, the name “Fountain Tree” is given.
Since its campanulate corolla resemble tulips, it is also given the name “Africa Tulip Tree” in English.
Applications The species has fast growth rate and an elegant tree form, with eye-catching flowers and relatively long flowering period, it is widely applied in urban greening and landscaping.
Ecology Africa Tulip Tree exhibits a certain degree of invasiveness. Currently the species has already invaded Hawaii, Fiji, the Cook Islands, etc. It is now listed in the 100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species.

Traits for identification

Growing habit Evergreen tree.
Height To 12 m.
Roots Sometimes with buttress roots.
Stems Bark of trunk greyish brown. Branchlets with greyish white lenticels.
Leaves Odd-pinnately compound, opposite, leaflets 9 to 13.
Leaflets elliptic to obovate, apex acuminate, subsessile.
Arrangement of leaflets feather-like.
Flowers Calyx crescent-like curved outward, splitting.
Petals fused as corolla tube, campanulate, orange red externally, orange yellow internally, lobes 5, broadly ovate.
The edge of the lobes wavy corrugated, with orange yellow linings.
Fruits Capsule, blackish brown when mature, dehiscent.
Seeds Suborbicular. With peripheral wing, dispersed by wind.
Flowering period January to May in Hong Kong.
Fruiting period March to November in Hong Kong.

Scientific name above is based on Hong Kong Herbarium website :

Scientific names from other databases
Plants of the World Online : Spathodea campanulata P.Beauv.