Information About Flame Tree

Information About Flame Tree

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What Is A Flame Tree: Learn About The Flamboyant Flame Tree

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

The flamboyant flame tree provides welcome shade and spectacular color in the warm climates of USDA zone 10 and above. Find out more about flame trees in this article and see if you can add one to your landscape.

Brachychiton Species, Flame Bottletree, Flame Kurrajong, Illawara Flame Tree


Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From seed direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gardeners' Notes:

On Dec 9, 2019, RosinaBloom from Waihi,
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

With ALL of these names - Brachychiton Species, Flame Bottletree, Flame Kurrajong, Illawara Flame Tree - we know it more commonly as the Illawarra Flame Tree.

On Sep 20, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is one of the most spectacular flowering trees on earth. A tree in full bloom is easily the equal of the better known jacaranda or royal poinciana.

It is said to bloom best and most reliably where winter is the dry season, as in the coast of eastern Australia, where it's native. It blooms before growing new leaves in spring in preparation for the summer rains.

I've seen photos of this species in bloom with the jacarandas.

Propagation from seed is relatively easy without any pretreatment. The seeds are surrounded in the capsule by irritant hairs and are best collected using gloves. Grafting is also relatively easy and by using scions of mature material from good flowering forms, plants will flower much earlier than those grown from seed. See. read more dlings of B.acerifolius, B.populneus and B.discolor have been successfull used as grafting stocks.

On Jun 24, 2013, GladTidings from Casa Grande, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

My 3 year old froze in the coldest winter in 50 years here, and grew back from the bottom 4 inches of trunk! Does not grow as fast as Ruprestus or populus and I suspect it is not as heat resistant here in the extreme desert sun

On Apr 10, 2011, JimSims from Riverside, CA wrote:

This tree grows on the UC Riverside campus and some years puts on a real show with bright red flowers. I tried to germinate seeds from old pods around the ground from this tree. I was able to get one seedling from placing the seeds in a sand tray in a greenhouse. That seedling is about 6 years old and last year had a mild display of flowers. It is about 12 feet tall. It just started leafing out a month ago. The blooms last year came in late fall. I am hoping for a better show this year.

On Jan 26, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant which grows well in the Hawaiian Islands.

On Sep 14, 2007, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I saw a group of these trees flowering away in Hayward in the east bay area. I had the same thought as the first poster-these trees and Jacaranda's go together. If i had the room.

On Jul 23, 2004, PJN1 from Las Palmas - Gran Canaria,
Spain wrote:

This tree grows extremely well in the Canary Islands. It may not be popular (yet) but I was pleasantly surprised to see them growing and flowering in the City of Puerto del Rosario on the island of Fuerteventura. They also grow the "populenius" species in the same road.

I have, in fact, started to grow my own trees from seeds I collected when I was last in Puerto del Rosario. So, in five to ten years, watch this space!

On Jul 22, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This attractive tree actually does take some frost- I have one in the yard and it's done fine down to about 27F without a burned leaf. I know they can handle much colder since it's gotten down to the low 20s briefly in LA and there are still very old happy looking specimens growing all over. They don't seem to flower as profusely in a marginal climate, but they still do, and are beautiful. The leaves are a brilliant green and soft texture. They don't bottle up like some of the other Brachychitons, but still make interesting sillohuetes.

On Jun 23, 2002, AustinBarbie from Harker Heights, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Often used as a companion plant to the jacaranda and flowering at about the same time is the Illawarra flame tree, or flame kurrajong. It is native to the forests of eastern Australia, and grows to about 15 metres (45') tall in cultivation. The leathery green leaves are big and maple-like, hence the name, but they vary - some have lobes, others don't. Flowering is also variable - sometimes they flower on one side only, sometimes they never flower, or they may flower one year but not the next. However a good specimen in full flower is an unforgettable sight - a mass of bright, scarlet bells which rivals the display of the jacaranda. The Illawarra flame tree grows best in warm climates in a sunny spot, with well-drained fertile soil and protection from wind and frost.

Chilean flame tree (Embothrium coccineum)

A clump of Chilean flame trees graces the southern hemisphere planting at the soaking pool at the McMenamin’s Edgefield Manor.

Yesterday I passed the Kennedy School on NE 33rd Avenue and Jessup and noticed that the Chilean flame tree (Embothrium coccineum) has begun flowering.

This wildly spectacular tree from has bright orange, firecracker-like flowers that appear seemingly from nowhere in late May-early June. Embothrium coccineum surely must qualify as the most dramatic flowering tree that can be grown in the Willamette Valley.

Kimberley Kinkaid, Head Gardener at Edgefield Manor, lists this plant as one of her favorites in this article I wrote featuring the talented professional gardeners behind three of the larger McMenamins gardens.

If you want to see these trees in their full flowering glory, the next week or two is your moment.

At Edgefield Manor, there is a fantastic clump of Embothrium planted around the soaking pool at the Ruby Spa. Stay overnight at the hotel and you can soak with a cocktail in hand, admiring the flame trees to your hearts’ content.

The Kennedy School also has two trees: one ingeniously planted directly behind the sign on the northwest corner of the site and one a few yards to the east, along the north property line. Both trees are well-sited, and are doing well so far – obviously Kennedy School’s Head Gardener Erich Petschke positioned the trees with care.

I don’t think Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Head Gardener Nicky Love has planted any there yet – it’s a more old-fashioned and wild garden there – but who knows, she might!

Embothrium coccineum can reach 30-40 feet, although I haven’t seen any attain anything near that size in the Portland area yet. It tends to do well on the southern Oregon coast and into California. The species is native to cool, mountainous areas of central Argentina and Chile, from high elevations of the Andes down to sea level. Since its native climate is cool and moderate, it can perish in our brief but sometimes brutal hot summers, unless sited where its roots can stay cool. A particularly cold winter can also cause damage so it’s a good tree to site away from harsh winter winds.

It is reputed to be a bit fussy to get going but if you have the right conditions and follow a few simple rules, it can certainly be grown here. For more detailed cultural information, check Sean Hogan’s excellent book, Trees for All Seasons (Timber Press).

Tips for growing the amazing Chilean flame tree (Embothrium coccineum):

1. Plant tree with roots shaded and tops in sun. Best is if the sun is blocked by other plants, ground covers or woody mulch.
2. Plant tree in lean soil rather than rich, amended, composty soil.
3. Plant tree in well-draining soil – a slight slope to the north or east is ideal.
4. Avoid fertilizing, particularly with any fertilizer containing phosphorus or potassium, which can kill Embothrium.
5. Avoid watering during warm weather. (This can be a challenge with a new young tree but you just have to be careful – try to water a young tree before a heat wave, or in the cool of the night. And avoid the problem by planting early in spring, or in the autumn, so the tree roots in during cool weather.)

Find the right spot in your garden – and humor the tree a bit by not fertilizing and watering with care – and you can enjoy the wild orange flowers of this spectacular tree in your own little paradise.

Meantime, go take a peek at the trees at the Kennedy School and Edgefield Manor and see what you think. While you’re there, keep an eye out for these professional gardeners whose skill and dedication makes these gardens so special.

How to Trim Chinese Flame Trees

Drooping clusters of small yellow flowers cover the canopy of mature Chinese flame trees in early summer. The show doesn't end with that, since the flowers mature into pink 2-inch long fruits with the look of delicate paper lanterns. Flowers and fruit rise above the tree's canopy on panicle stems, giving the Chinese flame tree a showy look for most of the growing season. Without proper pruning, flame trees may be short-lived, since branches break and trunks split easily. Even mature flame trees 40 to 60 feet tall need annual attention.

Train young Chinese flame trees to a single central leader. Snip off any competing vertical shoots to avoid the double-trunked form the flame tree naturally favors.

  • Drooping clusters of small yellow flowers cover the canopy of mature Chinese flame trees in early summer.
  • Flowers and fruit rise above the tree's canopy on panicle stems, giving the Chinese flame tree a showy look for most of the growing season.

Prune off lower limbs when the tree reaches 15 feet in height. Limbs droop when heavy with with foliage and flowers, making access beneath the tree limited. Keep main branches above head height to allow room for mowers.

Watch for double stems and limbs with V-shaped saddles--the connection between branch and trunk. The weak wood of the flame tree often splits under strain--favor the branches with rounded saddles over those with V-shaped junctions.

Ease the load on weak branches by clipping up to a third of the side branches back to the main stem. Reducing the weight also lifts the branch. Trimming out side branches does less harm to the shape of the tree than end trimming.

  • Prune off lower limbs when the tree reaches 15 feet in height.
  • The weak wood of the flame tree often splits under strain--favor the branches with rounded saddles over those with V-shaped junctions.

Inspect the upper structure of the Chinese flame tree during the winter when the foliage falls. Prune out weak or damaged limbs, dead wood and vertical branches which compete with the main stem.

Remove any limbs which show bark inclusions at the connection between branch and trunk. Bark pockets mark weak junctions and are the first to fail in storms and high winds.

Save a few clusters of "paper lantern" fruits for use in dried flower displays.

Older and taller Chinese flame trees often suffer severe damage because the upper canopy grows out of reach of trimming tools. Faults developing in the highest level of the tree could eventually split the crown. Consider 30 years of age the upper average lifetime of the Chinese flame tree and make stronger species the mainstay of the home landscape.

All About the Strikingly Beautiful Flamboyant Trees

Flamboyant tree is a beautiful and ornamental tropical tree that originated in Madagascar. This Gardenerdy article will help you understand how to grow this magnificent tree, and how to take care of it.

Flamboyant tree is a beautiful and ornamental tropical tree that originated in Madagascar. This Gardenerdy article will help you understand how to grow this magnificent tree, and how to take care of it.

It’s summer and many trees are in full bloom. But one umbrella-shaped tree, catches our attention instantly. It’s the flamboyant tree. It can be spotted from a distance due to the flowers in a riot of colors like red, orange, and yellow. It is rightly known as the flame tree due to its splashy display of clustered red colored flowers.

The other name for this tree is the Royal Poinciana Tree, and is a species of flowering plant. Its leaves are elegant, lace-like, and fern-like and the flowers have five petals. It stays in bloom for several weeks in the spring and the summer seasons. This tree is found in South Florida, Southwest Florida, South Texas, Southern California, Hawaii, and the US Virgin Islands in the United States of America. It is also found in countries like Barbados, Caribbean Islands, and Asian countries like India, China, and Japan. An annual festival is celebrated in Miami for its flowering.

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Royal poinciana is a fast growing tree. It can grow up to 5 feet per year till maturity. It’s essential to bear in mind that this tree requires a lot of space to grow. It can grow very tall, but its graceful umbrella like canopy can be wider than its height. Apart from this, you need to understand things like – how to plant the seeds, the type of climate needed for its growth, and the pH requirements of the soil.

Flamboyant tree seeds are unusual. The seed pods are dark brown, and are 60 cm long and 5 cm wide, but the individual seeds are small. These seeds are very hard with a tight covering. This cover does not allow water to seep through. So, if these seeds are planted, the success of germination is very less. Hence, we cannot use these seeds in this form for growing a tree. They need to be treated before you can use them for germination.

There are two ways to overcome this problem. One way to increase the success rate of the germination process is by laying the seeds on a flat surface, and rubbing them with sandpaper for about 12 seconds. This process needs to be repeated on the other side of the seed. These seeds then need to be soaked overnight. The seed covers will start peeling off from the seeds. Plant these seeds in a large pot about 20 millimeter deep in the soil. They will germinate in about six days successfully. The second way to get the seeds to germinate faster is to place them in boiling water. Add cold water to it, and drop the temperature. Soak these seeds for 24 hours. Sow these seeds in a pot, and place the pot in a warm place. The seeds germinate in four to six days.

A tropical or a near tropical climate is required for the growth of the flamboyant tree. It can, however, also grow in drought and salty conditions with regular water supply. It requires full sun exposure to grow fast into a healthy tall tree. Ensure that it gets moderate supply of water regularly. This tree cannot tolerate frost. The frost will rot the roots, and the tree will die. Moreover, as the flamboyant tree is deciduous in winter, i.e., it sheds its leaves during the winter, it requires a dry climate. Sparingly water this plant in winter. This trees cannot be exposed to temperatures below 7.2 o C.

Flamboyant tree can be grown in a wide range of well-drained soils from acidic to alkaline. It is also tolerant of loamy and gravelly soils. The soil pH requirements are 5.6 to 6.0 acidic and 6.1 to 6.5 mildly acidic. The tree tolerates hard pruning and can easily be kept at a small size. The branches can grow up to 40 feet in height. These branches need to be pruned just below the crown. Young trees need to be pruned every year for the first three years. This makes the tree grow in a better form. While pruning the trees, care needs to be taken to see that the branches are clipped in an umbrella shape. Only then the tree will look elegant after it reaches maturity.

This tree requires regular water in its growing years, and very little water in the dormant season. Full exposure to sun is absolutely necessary for its growth, so don’t plant it during the winter season. Use balanced liquid fertilizers each month to ensure good growth. Remember to add a fresh two-inch layer of mulch during the winter season. Mulching will help in retaining the moisture in the soil, and will stop the cold from reaching the roots as the frost can deteriorate the roots.

Also, the roots of the royal poinciana are wide-spreading which do not allow any other tree to grow under it. They are so strong that they may affect the foundations of your house. So ensure that these trees are planted in open spaces. This tree grows without much care and provides good shade. So, plant this tree today, and get a lifetime of happiness.

Watch the video: How to Plant u0026 Grow the Flamboyant Tree from seed to baby tree.