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Sunday, 13 February 2011

Caesalpinia gilliesii

Images: Mo

This small tree or shrub comes from Uruguay and Argentina, the areas with much warmer climate than here, where I live. Though I have seen it planted out in the garden, it is much safer to grow it in pots, at least in continental climate. Planted outside, it will probably survive southern exposures and short periods of low temperatures. The soil should not be waterlogged.
It belongs to Fabaceae, the legumes family. It  is about 5 m high tree, but planted in a deep pot it will grow up to 2 metres. The leaves remind to those of Accacia or Albizzia and is often mistaken for these plant.
A friend of mine has brought me several seed pods last year from a small town on our coastal area. I am sure it thrives in mediterranean climate.
The seeds need to be bruised with a file (the testa is pretty rigid and hard)  in order to be able to take up water more easily. I cut a bit of the testa on the seed edge and left them in water for two days. Sowing the seeds goes as usual - insert the seeds into a moist compost, water, cover and place on a warm place (radiator). Germination was rather quick, within a week time.


I was rather surprised by the size of the cotyledons. The first pair of true leaves is forming and soon I will transplant the seedlings into individual pots. 

5 comments:

  1. I am so amazed at plants growing the world over. That is why I like Blotanical so much. So much to see I would never had seen.

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  2. Prekrasna biljka neobi─Źnog cvijeta, divna je!
    Lijep pozdrav.

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  3. What a beautiful plant! It reminds me, too, of accacia. Good luck with your seedlings!

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  4. It grows here in Oregon, USA, too, and looks similar to the locust tree which is another legume.

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  5. It grows into quite a beautiful tree :-)

    Take care and have a nice day :-)

    ~Ron
    *******

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