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CAESALPINIA ferrea

Leopard tree

Stock: Available

Family: Fabaceae

Characteristics: Tree to 20m. Typically smaller in cultivation 

Seeds per packets: 5

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The attractive dappled grey to brown bark of the “Leopard tree” give the tree an appearance of a leopard skin hence the common name.

Bright yellow bell shaped flowers appear in spring which are followed by relatively large shiny seed pods.

A large tree that is often pruned and grown as an attractive street tree.

Also makes marvellous material for bonsai. 

Native to Brazil.

Prefers a well drained soil in a open sunny position. Tolerant of periods of dryness and light frosts.

Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-25°C.

Seeds germinate readily, however they do have a hard outer coating which is impervious to water and generally germination will normally not occur unless the seed is scarified by abrading or pre-treated with boiling water first.

  1. Place the seed in a container and pour in just boiled water and allow to soak overnight.
  2. The swollen seed can then be sown, re-treat seeds that have not swollen.
  3. Sow the depth of seed keep warm & moist but not wet.
  4. Germination should occur in 14-28 days @ 18-25°C.

General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.

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