10.7.14

A Small Flowering Tree with Promise

The Kunming Tree Jasmine
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Radermachera yunnanensis
The Kunming Tree Jasmine
 
This small and densely branched tree produces its 2-inch pale pink  flowers almost all year, but with especially abundant flowering after heavy rains in the warmest months here in Miami. The flowers are produced in bunches on the tips of the branches, and have a pleasant sweet fragrance, but never overpowering. 
 
I see this species from China in landscapes more frequently than ever before, but not nearly as often as I believe we should see. The tree has few problems,  requires only moderate  fertilization and watering, and grows in a wide variety of soil conditions. As yet, I have heard few reports of it being especially cold-sensitive in South Florida, and it prunes nicely to a small rounded bush or as a well-branched small tree. In the last 10 years, this species has gained popularity, and I have high hopes for it to become a staple in the landscape architecture trade.
 
In my own home garden, this little tree graces my front door, and rarely disappoints me with just plain foliage. A close relative of a more common genus-Tabebuia- I look forward to seeing it and its relatives such as R. ignea  come into our local landscapes. Growing to about 15 feet, but comfortably grown as short as 6 feet, this fairly new addition to our plant palette deserves more trial and attention. The plant world is endlessly diverse, use your options... 
 
 
Craig Morell
Pinecrest Gardens
 
   
 
    



5 comments:

  1. Where can I get one? Sounds interesting.

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    Replies
    1. Greetings-- finding one of these trees depends a lot on where you live. If you are in SE Florida, several of the better garden centers either have the tree or can get one for you fairly easily. It would be wise to take a color photo with you, since they may know it by different names, but the trees aren't hard to find in wholesale nurseries. It will be a while before they pop up at Home Depot or Lowe's, though. Several of the specialty tree growers have the species, such as Treeworld Wholesale, Lyons Nursery, Bloomin' Good, and you can find the tree at most botanical garden sales. Heathcote, Mounts, Flamingo, and Fairchild Botanical Gardens usually have semi-annual garden sales where you can find the tree.

      Happy hunting !

      Craig Morell

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  2. I have two of these in large pots and plan to put them into the ground. My location is in the Caribbean/Barbados and was wondering how tall these will grow. I am also wondering whether to plant them in full sun or partial or shade.

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  3. Greetings- I don't know the maximum height of this tree, but I have not heard reports locally that they grow taller than about 20 feet. I don't believe that our winter season will slow them down much, leading me to believe that in the last 15 years or more, I'd have heard any reports that the tree gets unreasonably big. I would think it would grow to perfection in Barbados or nearby, and I'd be interested to hear your comments in a few years !

    best regards,

    Craig Morell
    Pinecrest Gardens

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  4. Greetings again--forgot to answer your second question: the tree grows very well here in all day sunlight, even in rocky soil, but it does appreciate being watered every week or so. It will tolerate half a day of shade, but the tree gets long and spindly and does not flower well.

    Sincerely,

    Craig Morell
    Pinecrest Gardens

    ReplyDelete