African Tulip Tree - Spathodea campanulata

The African Tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata) is a large evergreen tree native to central Africa. It is also known by the names Fountain Tree and Flame of the Forest. It is one of a handful of trees that are referred to as "flame" trees.

This tree species is widely planted (where the climate permits) as an ornamental tree for ornate bell shaped flowers that are a combination of red, orange and yellow. Seeing as most of the flowers were pretty high up in the tree I tried to get as good a picture as possible of one that I found laying on the ground.

This particular tree is the only one that I have seen of this species and is located in a park in central Malaga that the locals refer to as the "paseo del parque". While this park is not known as a botanical garden it has just as many species and very good specimens of a great variety of plants, palms and trees.
The African Tulip tree is the only species in its genus and is a distant relative of some other well known ornamental trees such as the Jacarandas and the Catalpas (in the Bignoniaceae family).

This tree is known to have become invasive in some areas such as Maui.


  1. Hey Dan could you recommend a flowering tree, roundish in shape for screening in zone 6?

    Thanks for the kind comment on my blog BTW.

  2. Flowering trees for zone six might include the Chinese Redbud, the Common Horse Chestnut, Sassafras or the American Mountain Ash. A local nursery would be a good place to ask.

  3. Could this live in uk zone 8-9?

  4. The Spathodea tree is also found in Zimbabwe, I remember walking under the trees when the buds popped open and we thought it was raining as the buds held a sweet tasting water in the