Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tree Thursday - Golden Shower Tree

Golden Shower Tree
Cassia fistula

The Golden Shower Tree is originally from India where the tree has special significant. It is the state flower of Kerala in India and the tree is depicted on a 20 Indian rupees stamp.  The Golden Shower Tree is also important in Thailand, where it is the national tree, and its flower is Thailand's national flower.  The yellow flowers symbolize Thai royalty.  You can find the Cassia fistula scattered throughout Fort Lauderdale and South Florida.  The pictures below come from Riverland Park taken on May 29, 2013. 

The Golden Shower tree is a medium to large tree growing to about 30 to 35 feet tall.  The tree flowers in the spring and early summer with the peak flowering in June.  The fragrant flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. In parts of the world, the Cassia fistula is often used as a highly effective moderate laxative that is safe even for children. However, in large doses, the leaves and bark can cause vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and cramps. In Brazilian herbal medicine, the seeds are used as a laxative and the leaves and/or bark is used for pain and inflammation.  Some of these characteristics have lead to the common name “Purging Cassia”. 

Growth Rate – Fast
Salt Tolerance – Medium
Drought Tolerance - Medium   

Photographs below - Young C. fistula at Riverland Park; flower of C. fistula, flower clusters of C. fistula; leaves of C. fistula; trunk of C. fistula; more C. fistula flowers

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