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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tipuana tipu - Tipu Tree

The Tipu tree is a medium sized deciduous tree 25-40' tall by 30' wide. Fast growing, it forms a flattened canopy with upright arching branches. Deciduous for only a short time in late winter. Known for aggressive roots.

Leaves are opposite or sub-opposite, odd-pinnately compound,  6-10" long with 11-21  leaflets. Leaflets are 1 to 1-1/2" long x 1/2" wide,  oblong shaped.  Leaflets slightly hairy on the underside. Tip can be slightly apiculate. Fall color is yellow in colder areas, but not seen here very often. Petiole base is slightly enlarged somewhat like Cercis.

Light yellow flowers borne in early summer in terminal panicles. Pea-like (differs from Cassia which is not really pea-like) orange-yellow flowers.

Nice flower display on the ground near the end of the bloom time.

Light brown flattened pods with a single wing, 2 to 2-1/2" long. Very unique for this family, actually looks more like a maple fruit.

Stems are green, sort of grooved and often covered with a downy material.

Bark is beautiful, deeply cracked and scaly, brown to gray and black.

The branching pattern is pretty interesting, especially from below. The branches seem to go in any direction they choose but it creates a beautiful pattern against the sky.

Misidentification: Cassia perhaps where the leaves are evergreen and even pinnately compound.
The foliage actually looks more like Robinia, but there are no stipular spines and the leaves are alternate.

Nice collection lining Commercial Crossing, by Dominican Hospital

Along Portola Dr. heading north from 41st.

Santa Cruz
119 Highland Drive (corner of Highland and Escalona)

The parking lot behind Tortilla Flats/Aldos/Ugly Mug has a lot of nice ones,

1 comment:

  1. wow! amazing site. I looked for hours trying to figure out what this tree was and finally found this page. I love the details you've provided. Thanks!!