Common name(s): Tower Tree, Brazilian Fire Tree
Scientific name: Schizolobium parahyba
Plant family: FABACEAE
Origin: Along the Eastern Atlantic forests of Brazil to Southern Mexico.
Description: Tall, fast growing tree, up to 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide. Flowers are yellow hanging clusters. Leaves are large and feather like. Leaves may drop off during drought conditions. Showy clusters of yellow flowers with pod shaped fruit. Branches are considered brittle. Maintenance required.
Growing Conditions: Requires full sun for best growth. Tall tree, spreading requires much space. Soil should be rich organic and well drained. May need watering until established. Drought tolerant. Should grow well in South Florida and perhaps Central Florida. Cold Hardy down to 30°F.
Wildlife: Pollinated by bees and insects.
Relation to Nehrling Gardens: Donated by Leu Botanical Garden and planted in 2021.
Location in Gardens: B2
Additional Information: This tree is used extensively in lands in need of restoration. The tree is planted to improve soil fertility and reduce soil erosion. The roots have special nodules that hold blue-green algae. This type of algae is able to chemically fix atmospheric nitrogen and turn it into usable nitrogen for plant growth and development. As a fast growing tree it is considered in some locations as invasive. Locally this tree is used for paneling, canoe building, boxes, fuel and road landscape.
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