Banquet Piece, Pieter Claez

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mystery Pink Flower

Last year in May, I ran across a mystery tree in our local park. "Hello, Lovely!" I said, "I don't think that I've seen your likes anywhere before. I don't even think I recognize your family. You are very pretty though! Who are you?"

The flowers are pink and tropical looking. The leaves green and glossy. I googled "pink flower tree" and many other combinations. Nothing looked right. I even used google image and came up short.

I posted a question on a forum asking if anyone knew what it was and stumped two experts. (However, eventually one person had a Southern California friend who knew.)

I tried out the Urban Tree Key and to my surprise I found out what this tree is. If you want to cover up the answer and try this yourself, you can discover it, too.

Meet the Cape chestnut (Calodendrum capense) in the Rutaceae family, the same family that brings us:

  • wonderful citrus, 
  • the hoptree (Ptelea crenulata), the only Northern California native member of the Rutaceae family
It's not a chestnut, not even close. 

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