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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cupaniopsis anacardioides - Carrotwood tree

The Carrotwood tree is a broad spreading evergreen tree with a dense rounded crown, growing to 25-40' tall. Open and stiff when young, developing nicely as it ages. Gets its name from the orange colored bark below the outer bark. Can't say I have seen that.



Leaves are evergreen, pinnately compound, 12" long with 6-10 leaflets (making it odd pinnate). Leaflets are 3-4" long, oblong to oblanceolate shaped, margins entire, with a notched or rounded tip. Dark green and shiny. Lower surface lighter green. Midrib is prominent on both surfaces.






Flowers are in a large yellow panicle of small yellow flowers.

Fruit are capsules. When ripe they are light yellowish to orange, opening up on 3 sides to reveal black seeds that are partially covered with a sticky orange coating.



Stems are smooth but appear to have a waxy coating when young. Reddish tan colored.



The terminal bud is naked, showing miniature leaves over the winter. 



Bark is smooth, gray brown in color but the trunks do develop some irregular grooves making them less than round.


Misidentification:
Possibly the Carobtree, which has thicker shorter leaves and different fruit. Its also a smaller tree.

Location:
Santa Cruz
Soquel Ave at the intersection with Soquel Drive, in the parking lot of the auto repair business.

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