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African Tulip Tree

Spathodea campanulata  is our very own Tulip tree , it is also known by various other names such as fountain tree, pichkari , Nandi flame etc. It is also among my favorite bunch of beautiful trees.

This tree grows to a height of 20 -25 mtrs. In summer the tree is filled with its huge tulip shaped, flame like flowers which gives it its nick name ‘the fame of the forest’. Parrots love these flowers and hang around these trees all day long. The finger like upturned buds have a good quantity of water in them and so are eagerly sort after by birds and animals alike.

The seed pods are really unique, they are like two boats fixed together to hold the seeds which are paper thin. The seed pods break open when mature and the winged seeds carried by the wind are blown around.

These trees are recommended to be planted in places where the soil needs to be conserved to prevent further soil erosion. They are also used to make plywood.

It is common to find these trees in parks and roads of tropical countries. As children we used to play with the seed pods and float them on water like boats.  These woody boats were my best toys as a child.

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Written by Dawn

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