24 responses to “Couroupita guianensis”

  1. Colette Tremblay

    What size are these aptly-named “cannonballs”?

  2. Robyn

    Amazing!!!! The fruit for its sheer weirdness and the flower for its stunning beauty.
    Thanks for all your time and effort over the last year!

  3. annie Morgan

    Fascinating – and the moment I opened the page, the song “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts” flashed through my mind.
    It never ceases to amaze me how fruit can be so almost perfectly round.
    Great photos

  4. Karthik

    It has beautiful flowers too :

  5. Vicki

    I almost wish I was a peccary – those look like they would be quite tasty!!!!!!!! Thanks for the wonderful surprise!!!!!

  6. Annalize Oosthuizen

    Can the fruit of this Cannonball tree been eaten by humans.
    Will this tree grown in South Africa where we have no snow and sunny weather for 9 months of the year.
    We only have 3 months of winter but no snow.
    Ill think the flower is beautiful.

  7. David Sutton

    I saw this growing in a butterfly house in Zurich Zoo (I think) a few years ago and knew instantly what it was when the picture opened, it is not something that you forget easily! To answer the question above the fruits on the plant that I saw were around 20 – 25cm in diameter.

  8. Wendy Cutler

    I see that in Florida it blooms in July/August but no mention of when the fruits develop. Eric, I can’t remember – were you just on Kauai last month? I’d like to know if I could expect to see the fruits when I’m there next. That is so strange-looking, it’s worth a trip to the other end of the island. There’s a photo on the Fairchild site with just a few flowers coming out of the otherwise bare trunk.

  9. Scott

    The tree at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami, FL, is self-incompatible. It requires cross -pollination from another tree (in past years, the tree at Montgomery Botanical Center was the daddy). The flowers are borne on long, woody, perennial branches that originate from the lower part of the trunk and hang down. The cold weather Miami is getting this week will cause the tree to completely defoliate within a couple of days, but new, replacement leaves will grow out within a couple of weeks.

  10. MsWinterfinch

    Sometimes on the UBC botanical site the window pens to a new universe. Like an never seen before star I am surprised and educated in an all new part of creation,
    The links really added to understanding this Cannonball tree.
    Thanks so much for this glimpse into the plant universe.

  11. elizabeth a airhart

    i too live in florida another morning of ice
    the tender palms in nurserys and the vegatable
    crop have been hit ever so hard 10 days
    and one more night hopefully
    i thought of the term odd ball when the page
    came in to view-i have enjoyed reading about
    people who worship this tree childless couples
    who hang dolls from the tree and seeing sutra
    with in the fruit
    thank you all good reading this am

  12. Susanne

    When I saw a specimen in a botanical garden on Oahu they also called it a cannonball tree and the fruit is just that size, a bit smaller than a bowling ball. I seem to remember that it said somewhere that it was related to the brazil nut. Does anyone know if that is true?

  13. Scott

    Yes, it’s in the Brazil nut family, Lecythidaceae.

  14. Diane at Duke

    Traveled to Hawaii this past fall and saw the cannonball tree on Kauai. I was first drawn to the flowers. They are unique and beautiful. Enjoy the photos.

  15. Raffi

    Wow, this plant really jumps off the page. I’ve never seen one before – or at least not with these cannonballs on them.

  16. lisa

    Definitely check out the links posted by Karthik (Thank you Karthik!) They show close-ups of the beautiful but very unusual flowers. I’ve never seen anything quite like them. What a wonderfully odd tree.

  17. SoapySophia

    They do look tasty!
    Do you suppose the Swiss Family Robinson could have used them? Just joking, but they do remind me of the stories of islanders fending off pirates from remote islands. . . .
    Nice to see something tropical when we are a couple feet deep in fluffy white stuff.

  18. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Wonderful! The flowers are both stunningly beautiful and strange, a combination I happen to really like 🙂
    ALL of the links are very interesting — thanks.

  19. Gerry

    I am looking at this picture with a new slant after just having read “The Ghosts of Evolution”, Connie Barlow, 1977 that talks about how some plants evolved along with large animals that are now extinct. Perhaps this fruit was the favorite fruit of a long missing partner. Great read! Couldn’t believe that I had never heard of it before.

  20. Daniel Mosquin

    Eric did actually include a couple photographs of the flowers in what he sent along to me, but I decided to focus on the fruits instead (since the flower made a previous appearance).

  21. vimalasaravanan

    The given information and the photography is very useful for my dissertation work. i need book references for this plant.

  22. Andrea

    I have a nicely flowering trunk of this which i took from the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh. I mislabeled it in my photo as Shorea robusta because that was the label on that tree. After some readings, i also realized the correct Scientific name is Couroupita guianensis.(http://www.flickr.com/photos/abagillon/2612714222/). thank you.

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