March 22, 2012

A Cherry Tree in Miami ?

No, not really. The tree in the photo is actually a Pink Shower Tree called  Cassia bakeriana. This is one of the 5 trees of this species growing at Pinecrest Gardens. This particular specimen is easily seen on the east side of the sports field at the Pinecrest Community Center on the west end of the Pinecrest gardens complex.

Cassia bakeriana at
Pinecrest Community Center,
Miami, Florida

One of the hardest things for people to believe is that we planted this tree from a 21 inch pot just 4 years ago. When it was planted, it was about 10 feet tall,, and rather spindly. With the regular watering from the nearby sports field, the tree and its neighbor-twin grew very quickly to its current height of about 25 feet, and it's still growing.   

3 inch flowers of
Cassia bakeriana

This tree has lush and layered foliage in the warm months, with its jubilant shell-pink flowers every March. If we have a warm winter without severe winds, the tree will flower abundantly, with pleasantly sweet-smelling flowers. This species goes leafless for a few weeks just before flowering, as if it was storing energy for this floral fireworks display.

Recommended for a large area or open garden, this tree needs abundant sunlight and water to grow its best. Personally, I think it would make a handsome addition to many parks, boulevards and golf courses, where its Summer shade and Spring flowers make it a double winner.It is becoming more available since the tree sets a lot of viable seed, so look for one at your favorite plant sale. 

Craig Morell
Pinecrest Gardens

No comments:

Post a Comment