Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (165 KB)

Title: Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv.

Author: Connor, K.F.; Francis, J.K.;

Date: 2002

Source: In: Vozzo, J.A., ed. Tropical Tree Seed Manual. Agric. Handbook 721. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 716-718.

Publication Series: Agricultural Handbook

Description: S. campanulata is a medium-sized tree that commonly reaches a height of 21 m; however, in some parts of West Africa, it may reach 30 m. Heart and butt rots are common in trees older than 20 to 25 years that have suffered mechanical or fire damage. In Hawaii, large trees form narrow butresses at the base. It grows naturally in the secondary forests in the high forest zone and in the deciduous, transition, and savanna forests of equatorial Africa. Its native range extends along the Pacific Coast of Africa from Ghana to Angola and inland across the humid center of the continent to southern Sudan and Uganda. The species has been successfully planted outside its natural range; throughout the humid tropics, its large brilliant flame-orange flowers have made it one of the most popular flowering ornamentals. Planting near roads or buildings is not advised, since the trees become hollow with age and have shallow root systems.. The wood of this fast-growing species is light, soft, and little used. Leaves are large, 31 to 61 cm (1 to 2 ft) long and are composed of 5 to 19 leaflets. The 10 cm long, irregular-bell-shaped, bright red-orange flowers occur on each terminal raceme on trees as young as 3 to 4 years of age. Yellow-flowering trees have also been reported. The oddly flattened flowers have a light brown, curved, pointed calix and 4 pale yellow stamens with brown anthers. Flowering time varies, depending on location. Unopened flower buds contain water which can be squirted out when the buds are pricked with a pin. One to four boat-shaped green to brown pods, 15 to 25 cm long, usually develop from each flower cluster. Seeds mature 5 months after flowering. The wind-dispersed seeds are lightbrown, light weight and surrounded by a membranous wing.

Keywords: Spathodea campanulata, African tulip tree, species description, seed research

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Connor, K.F.; Francis, J.K. 2002. Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv. In: Vozzo, J.A., ed. Tropical Tree Seed Manual. Agric. Handbook 721. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 716-718.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.