Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv.
subsp. nilotica (Seem.) Bidgood

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Spathodea campanulata subsp. nilotica

Photo: Bart Wursten
National Botanic Garden, Harare

Spathodea campanulata subsp. nilotica

Photo: Bart Wursten
National Botanic Garden, Harare

Spathodea campanulata subsp. nilotica

Photo: Bart Wursten
National Botanic Garden, Harare

Spathodea campanulata subsp. nilotica

Photo: Petra Ballings
Gardiner Farm, Arcturus

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Synonyms: Bignonia tulipifera Thonn.
Spathodea danckelmaniana Büttner
Spathodea nilotica Seem.
Common names: African flame tree (English) African tulip tree (English) Fountain tree (English) Nandi flame (English)
Frequency: Common
Status: Introduced and rarely naturalised.
Tree, to 20 m. Leaves 1-pinnate, imparipinnate, opposite, large (to 50 cm long); leaflets ovate to elliptic, densely hairy. Flowers orange to red. Calyx spathaceous, densely hairy. Corolla lobes ± undulate. Fruit a capsule, 15 - 30 cm, fusiform, held erect. Seeds winged.
Notes: Although it is a very commonly planted street tree in Zimbabwe, there are very few records of it becoming naturalised, and these are at low altitudes in the Honde Valley in Eastern Zimbabwe, specifically at Aberfoyle Lodge and at Katiyo.

According to the Flora of Tropical East Africa, Bignoniaceae, subsp. nilotica is the subspecies widely cultivated in East Africa and we believe that this is true in Zimbabwe and Mozambique as well.
Derivation of specific name: campanulata: campanulate, referring to the shape of the corolla; nilotica: from the valley of the Nile.
Habitat: Edge of forest
Altitude range: (metres) 840 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: West Africa to Ethiopia and Rwanda.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 13 May 2007

Bailey, L.H. (1949). Manual of Cultivated Plants Revised edition. Macmillan, New York. Pages 906 - 907.

Diniz, M.A. (1988). Bignoniaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(3) Page 62.

Other sources of information about Spathodea campanulata subsp. nilotica:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Spathodea campanulata subsp. nilotica
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Spathodea campanulata subsp. nilotica
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Spathodea campanulata subsp. nilotica

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Spathodea campanulata
African Plant Database: Spathodea campanulata
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Spathodea campanulata
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Spathodea campanulata
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Spathodea campanulata
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Spathodea campanulata
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Spathodea campanulata
JSTOR Plant Science: Spathodea campanulata
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Spathodea campanulata
Plants of the World Online: Spathodea campanulata
Tropicos: Spathodea campanulata
Wikipedia: Spathodea campanulata

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Spathodea campanulata subsp. nilotica., retrieved 14 April 2024

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