Common name(s): Bayur Tree, Dinner Plate Tree
Scientific name: Pterospermum acerifolium
Plant family: Malvaceae
Origin: India to Burma
Description: Grows up to 30-40 feet. Bark is smooth, large leaves with some variation. Large white slender flowers in spring . cream color, Fragrant at night with probable moth or bat pollinators. Leaf foliage dark green with underside bronze to silver. Fruit is a hard capsule.
Growing Conditions: In the natural environment found growing along river bed and swamps. In landscape, rich, moist organic soil that is well drained. Best in full sun, warm climate. May tolerate light frosts with some damage tips of branches.
Wildlife: Flowers open only one day. Fragrant during night time and in native geography pollinated by bats.
Relation to Nehrling Gardens:
Location in Gardens: Zone 2
Additional Information: MacKay Gardens and Lakeside Preserve, in Lake Alfred. In 2010 a large Maple Leaf Bayur Tree was identified. It is believed that the family and David Fairchild, botanical explorer, were in contact and their tree came from David Fairchild. In the early part of the 20th century, new plants from around the world were being collected for possible use in agriculture and medicine. Typically they were given to major botanical gardens in the north and especially in Florida gardens for field testing. Only a few gardens or interested locations in Florida were available. One was David Fairchild’s gardens, today Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Coral Gables. At about the same time period, Henry Nehrling found it necessary to find a more tropical location for many tropical plants people gave him. He finally purchased a site in Naples. Today that site is called Caribbean Gardens. Only a small part of his garden and work remain but the testing of growing newly discovered, economic plant from around the word lead to many of our food and horticultural plants today.
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