Spathodea campanulata (BIGNONIACEAE) African Tulip Tree

Weeds to Whack

African Tulip Tree is a large, upright and spreading tree to 25 m. It has escaped from gardens and can now be seen along most creek banks in the Enoggera catchment. The thick branches are marked with lenticels (breathing pores). Young branches can have a sparse covering of small hairs.
Photo: Matt Tomkins


Leaves are compound with up to 17 leaflets, with a sparse covering of soft hairs. African Tulip Tree was planted as an ornamental throughout Brisbane, and even used as a street tree.
Photo: Matt Tomkins


Large reddish-orange tubular flowers appear in clusters at the tips of the branches. The outer part of the opening (mouth) of the flower has yellow margins. There is a distinctive calyx (fused sepals) which is curved upwards and horn-shaped. Fruit are large elongated capsules turning from green to brown.
Photo: Mark Crocker