Spathodea campanulata
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Spathodea campanulata

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Spathodea
is a monotypic genus in the flowering plant family Bignoniaceae. The single species it contains, Spathodea campanulata, is commonly known as the Fountain Tree, African Tulip Tree, Flame-of-the-forest, Rudra Palash, Pichkari or Nandi Flame. It is a tree that grows to 7–25 m (23–82 ft) tall and is native to tropical Africa. This tree is planted extensively as an ornamental tree throughout the tropics and is much appreciated for its very showy reddish-orange or crimson (rarely yellow), campanulate flowers. It has the potential to become an invasive species, however. It is commonly planted as a street tree in India. It is considered evergreen but it sheds leaves in dry summers and hence it is a dry season deciduous tree.

The flower bud is ampule-shaped and contains water. These buds are often used by children who play with its ability to squirt the water. The sap sometimes stains yellow on fingers and clothes. The open flowers are cup-shaped and holds rain and dew, making them attractive to many species of birds. In Neotropical gardens and parks, their nectar is popular with many hummingbirds, such as the Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis), the Black Jacobin (Florisuga fusca), or the Gilded Sapphire (Hylocharis chrysura). The wood of the tree is soft and is used for nesting by many hole-building birds such as barbets.

The generic name comes from the Ancient Greek words σπάθη (spathe) and οιδα (oida), referring to the spathe-like calyx.






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