The flowers are large, bright red and have a claw-like shape. Leaves are alternate, compound, with three heart-shaped leaflets. The foliage is a shiny dark green colour. The base of the petiole is swollen and cylindrical.
This deciduous tree has a spiny bark. It is a species of flowering tree in the legume family. The dark brown seeds are stored in bean shaped pods that measure up to 20cm (8in). I notice that when it is growing well, the branches are spread out like an umbrella. When it is blooming with striking red flowers, it is indeed a spectacular sight amidst the clear blue sky. When the flowers fade and petals fall to the ground, it will look like spent red fire cracker papers strewn all over the ground. Just like Chinese New Year season. Very auspicious!
Here, in Malaysia, we can find a lot of these trees planted by property developers and city councils at housing estates, public parks and walkways.
We have a local malay saying "Bunga dedap" which means a person with good looks but without good manners and who can't seem to run the household properly. Like the red flower that is very beautiful but without any scent.
Have you seen this plant in your area?
- Some of the trees planted along public roads and walkways in the Klang Valley had to be felled by City Hall due to termites infestation.
- My article about this tree appeared in the New Straits Times Press on August 13th, 2010. The link is here.
This is also my entry for Fertilizer Friday. My grateful thanks to Tootsie at Tootsie Time for hosting Fertilizer Friday. To see what others have posted or to participate, visit here.
This is also my entry for Today's Flowers #66. My grateful thanks to the TF folks: Santilli, Denise, Pupo and Valkyrien for hosting Today's Flowers. To participate or view other floral displays around the world, click here.
This is also my entry for Ruby Tuesday. To view what others have for red today, click here.