Chiranthodendron pentadactylon a. Renowned for its beauty, but still rare in cultivation. Please visit our seed store to view current selections. Seeds were last available in March Description A fairly fast-growing medium or large sized tree growing to 40ft.
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I mentioned this fantastic in all senses of the word plant in my late October blog post about Dunedin Botanic Garden. But it remains fantastic. Just take a look at the flower and try and work out what is going on. Chiranthodendron pentadactylon showing flowers and foliage This is a picture of the Kurrajong Brachychiton populneus , also in flower in the Royal Botanic Gardens. So clearly something looks like a hand! That something is actually the male part of the flower, a group of five stamens fused together at the base.
In this picture each stamen is bearing a line of yellow pollen. There is only one hand per flower. The petals themselves are missing, as they are in most Sterculiaceae. Chiranthodendron pentadactylon, showing the velvety sepals This tree is native to wetter areas of Guatemala and southern Mexico, but grows and flowers happily in Melbourne, Sydney and Dunedin! For them the hand is just something to brush against, getting in the way of their feasting.
For the flower, it is presumably an attractive bit of advertising as well as good way to dump pollen onto animal visitors. Like this post? Why not share it with a friend?
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It is a free-draining, somewhat dry site with fairly crappy soil. It gets no extra water or feeding, in fact, no attention at all! For climate context, we are sea-side, with good humidity. We get the occasional mild frost but the ground never freezes, brief snow, some hail, wet wint
Chiranthodendron Species, Devil's Hand, Mexican Hand Tree, Monkey Hand Tree