There is a “Flame Tree” as they are also called in a park in our neighborhood, and when taking a walk with my family earlier this year I decided to pick up a seed pod and bring it home.
Here is the mother tree at the park in April of this year with seed pods:
They are an amazing tropical flowering tree and are actually from the bean family (fabaceae). USDA zone 10 is ideal for them. They have great movement and branching naturally. Hence my interest in applying bonsai to these trees.
The leaves are like a fern….similar to a mimosa, or Brazilian Rain Tree. Each leaf is made of many leaflets and they grow large spreading canopies.
When the trees flower in summer, they explode in fire orange/red blooms everywhere, hence the name Flame Tree.
These will be the start of some wonderful bonsai.
The pods are pretty large on average and can be as long as 2 feet.
Here is the pod:
Inside those slots you see below were seeds. There are many, many seeds! Perfect!
Here are what the seeds look like:
You will read different ways of propagating the seeds. Some advise to soak them for 24 hours, others will also advise to scarify them. You can even snip off the tip of the seed opposite the side attached to the pod (embryo side of seed).
The method required will depend on your climate. I’m in zone 10 it’s hot and humid constantly here. No need for the extra work.
For me, I just soak them for an hour or so, I do not scarify or snip the seeds.
Just simply push them in the soil, keep it moist, and in about a week or so they break ground.
I planted them in a propagation tray, to later be moved to pots once big enough:
If not contained in a small pot they will grow a few feet their first year. These grow fast so it will be interesting to see how they respond to bonsai techniques. It will be a battle to keep them small!
Here is a little glimpse into the future. This is one is about 1 month old:
In a few months we’ll catch back up with these little guys and see what they have become!
Happy Saturday! It’s a great day to start new bonsai trees!