Lapacho negro

 
 

Lapacho negro is native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay. In its native distribution it reaches a height of 130 feet, with a trunk 5 or more feet in diameter. The leaves are about 1 foot and have five, sometimes seven, leaflets with serrated borders, the largest up to 5 inches long. Flowers measure up to 3 inches in length and are grouped in terminal racemes. Fruits are brown pods up to 15 inches long that open on both sides to liberate many small winged seeds. In South America it is covered with flowers after shedding the leaves during the dry season, but in Puerto Rico most of the leaves are retained and few flowers are produced. It flowers in spring and fruits mature in summer. This is Paraguay's national tree. The generic name means Handro’s flower. The species name means with seven leaves (leaflets).


The photographed tree is one of five specimens planted by Hipolito Irizarry near the chancellor’s house, from seeds provided by José A. Ramos. There is another tree near the Barcelona street entrance.

Handroanthus heptaphyllus (Bignoniaceae)