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Saturday, October 10, 2009


Pearl’s Yellow Tree has been identified. Gwen Nakamachi, Pearl's sister in law, sent me the initial indication of the correct scientific name, and several others subsequently provided details.

Family: Bignoniaceae (big-no-nih-AY-see-ee) (Info)

Genus: Roseodendron (ro-see-oh-DEN-dron) (Info)

Species: donnell-smithii

Synonym: Cybistax donnell-smithiiSynonym:Tabebuia donnell-smithii

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

 over 40 ft. (12 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
 USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
 USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure: 
Full Sun
 to Partial Shade

Bloom Color: 
Gold (Yellow-Orange) 
Bright Yellow


Other details:
Average water needs. Water regularly and do not overwater,. Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season.

Propagation Methods: 
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel.

Seed Collecting:
 Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seed.
 Ferment seeds before storing.

Initially, the Cassia fistula was considered, for it was the national tree of Thailand. The yellow was that of the royalty. There was medicinal value of the pods. That should have been the clue, for Pearl's Yellow Tree has no pods.

Cassia surattensis made a run, but, no, again, pods.

I showed the gingko tree when the leaves turned yellow in the late fall. It certainly looks like the
correct variety, but, no, leaves don't count, even though Pearl loved the tempura gingko nut at Ten-Ichi (there are several) inTokyo.

Tagum City in the Philippines planted 100 yellow trees in honor of Cory Aquino, but, again, this is the Orlando tree, where the leaves turn yellow. Hmm...Tony Orlando, tie a yellow ribbon...

Here are a few yellow trees, probably Tabebuia donnell-smithii, Pearl's Yellow Tree. I took the top photo close by my Pacific Ocean Science and Technology building office on the Manoa Campus. The third photo is by Gerald Carr, also on this campus, while the second is by Forrest and Kim Starr on Molokai.


The latest country to visit this site is Macao (usually spelled, Macau), making it number 112:




Pete said...

if your readers are looking for more information on USDA plant hardiness zones, there is a detailed, interactive USDA plant hardiness zone map at

Anonymous said...

Dear Pete:

Thanks for your comment, but there are characters after

I can't seem to read. Can you please re-comment so that I can see the complete site?


Anonymous said...

Okay, now I see it. Thanks, again.


Patrick Kenji Takahashi said...

Can't find Cybistax donnell-smithii or Tabebuia donnell-smithii in the list of trees.

Viagra Online said...

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samia hussain said...

nice post