Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv.

Etymology Genus Spathe-shaped; referring to the calyx
Species Bell-shaped; referring to the flower
Family Bignoniaceae
Synonyms Bignonia tulipifera Schum., Spathodea tulipifera (Schum.) G.Don
Common Names African Tulip
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Tree
Native Distribution Tropical west Africa


Spathodea campanulata is a common tree found in our secondary forests. The tree has straggly branches, pinnate leaves, and with a pair of rounded stipules at the leaf base. It flowers frequently, and the red flowers makes they easily identifiable.

Interesting Facts:

The African Tulip was one of our early pioneers of cultivated greenery. It was introduced to Singapore in 1910 from Europe (Rao & Wee, 1989). However, it's straggly form and branches being proned to snapping makes it fall out of favour eventually. By then, it has already naturalised itself in secondary forests.

A lone tree in Queenstown.

Compound leaf.

Leaflets; note there that is a paired of swollen glands at the tip.

Paired round stipules.

Inflorescences from a distance.

Inflorescences closed up.

Upward pointing fruit pods.

Winged seeds.


Rao AN & WC Wee (1989) Singapore Trees. Singapore Institute of Biology, Singapore. 357 pp.

Posted Date: 2015-04-12 / Modified Date: 2015-04-12