Bulnesia arborea, A Spectacular Flowering Tree for South Florida_,__ _
T.K. Broschat and AW. Meerow Library
University of Florida, IFAS
Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center APR 11 1989
FLREC Ornamentals Research Report 88-5
University of Florida
Bulnesia arborea is a spectacular small to medium-sized flowering treeTf i nortiih-
South America. It grows a a moderate rate and reaches a height of 30-40' with a rounded
canopy at maturity. The foliage is fine, pinnately compound, and evergreen; the bark is light
gray and smooth to warty in appearance. Orange-yellow flowers about 1.5" in diameter are
produced in great abundance from spring to fall, although not necessarily continuously.
Seeds are borne in unusually shaped papery seeds pods throughout the summer and fall.
Bulnesia can be easily propagated from cuttings rooted under intermittent mist or
from seed which germinates within 1-2 weeks. The tree's only drawback is its tendency to
S wrap its roots around the inside of a container, resulting in a root system that remains
wrapped in this shape even after being planted in the landscape. Since this renders the
plants very susceptible to being blown over in winds, plants should be placed in the
landscape when still very small and should never be allowed to become rootbound in a
container. Cutting any wrapped roots from a container grown plant is essential prior to
Bulnesia is very drought tolerant and requires only moderate fertility for good growth.
It appears to be very tolerant of south Florida's alkaline soils, although mild magnesium
deficiency symptoms are sometimes observed. This tree is hardy down to about 280 F, but
it is not known to be particularly salt tolerant. No serious insect or disease problems have
been encountered in south Florida.