African tulip-tree

 
 

African tulip-tree is native to tropical Africa. It was introduced to Puerto Rico for ornament and shade but has dispersed throughout the island. It reaches a height of 100 feet, with a trunk 5 feet in diameter supported by narrow prop roots. The pale and smooth bark contrasts with the foliage. The leaves are up to 2 feet long and have up to 19 leaflets, the largest up to 6 inches long. Flowers are up to 5 inches long and are grouped in showy terminal inflorescences. Fruits are flattened capsules, up to 10 inches long, that open on one side to liberate thousands of winged seeds. It flowers and produces fruits mostly from winter to summer. The generic name refers to the shape of the flower’s calyx. The species name means bell-shaped, in reference to the shape of the flower.


The photographed tree is east of Building B. There are other trees on both sides of the residence occupied by the Geology Museum.

Spathodea campanulata (Bignoniaceae)