The Q&A Archives: Chorisia speciosa

Question: My Irvine (92604) site is located 8-foot awary from a 6-foot block wall and I'm concerned about the Majestic Beauty roots. I also wonder if the bloom season is too short?

If the roots are too invasive or the bloom season too short could you suggest another tree 25-35', long bloom season, color preference flame-orange (A yellow cassia is already represented nearby)

The Hong Kong Orchid keeps coming up as the best candidate but I'm looking for other options? Thanks for your help.

Answer: Chorisia speciosa is an attractive specimen tree; the large, showy, pink and white, five-petaled flowers, which somewhat resemble narrow-petaled hibiscus, are produced in small clusters in fall and winter (usually beginning in October and through February)when the tree is nearly bare. The roots of most trees will travel out nearly two times the diameter of the canopy and this tree produces surface roots which can be hazardous to foot traffic directly beneath the tree. Aside from this, the tree is considered an excellent sidewalk and landscape tree.

Hong Kong Orchid tree is a good choice for the site you describe, as is African Tulip Tree (Spathodea campanulata). Regarded as one of the most beautiful of all flowering trees, it's best suited to frost-free areas where it grows 30 to 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide at maturity. Along the coast, it produces large flower clusters at branch ends late summer through fall. Buds open to 4-inch, frilly red-orange flowers resembling tulips. Inland, flowering is only in fall.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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