Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cassia fistula - Golden Shower Tree

 This is one of my all-time favourite summer flowering trees.  It adds such a splash of vivid yellow to the garden during the hottest time of the year with its magnificent display of large pendulous racemes of scented flowers in summer.  It is a graceful and spectacular looking tree that I've found to be very drought and heat hardy.


It's a semi-deciduous tree up to 8m tall and of similar width.  My Cassia fistula is so tall that it can now be seen behind all the planting in the raised back bed of the courtyard garden.  In this photo you can see the yellow flowers in the background high above the hibiscus blooms.


The Cassia fistula has large deep green leaves up to 450mm long and stunning sprays of golden wisteria like blooms.


The sweetly perfumed flowers are pea-shaped and arranged in large pendulous sprays.




Flowers develop into brown seed pods which often exceed 30 cm long. The seeds are arranged horizontally in the pod, which when broken open give off a strong smell. Some old pods can be found hanging on the tree at most times of the year.


Cassia fistula has been classed as a weed in many states here in Australia ... as it has become naturalised in some areas, spreading into the bushland.  It can be seen in the bushland close to the houses in my rural suburb.  Seems a shame to call such a striking tree ... a weed!

18 comments:

  1. Your Cassia fistula is just beautiful with so many flowers! I've got one that is not thriving and on the list to pull out. I've just noticed the beautiful birds and bugs on your side panel too - will be back soon for a better look!

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  2. Shame yours is not doing well. There could be a few reasons why yours is not thriving ... they hate frosts, they much prefer to stay dry (in fact if they don't get any water, they tend to flower more prolifically!)and they need full sun. They will also look pretty scraggly and bare for most of the year.

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  3. What a beautiful tree and to think it is sweetly scented too is a real bonus in my book.

    FlowerLady

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  4. do we have any other colors for the flower of the tree?

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  5. I would really like to know where I can buy one. I did buy one about 7years ago from my local nursery but when I went back recently they didn't have any more. I have been looking all morning where I can get one in Florida and I don't care if I have to drive to the other side of the state to get one. I'm in Port St. Lucie. I'd be grateful if anyone could give me any ideas.

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  6. I live in Northam West Aust and have a 5year old Golden Shower tree that is flowering at the moment for the first time, when do I prune it back as it is now quite tall and under power lines so will need to be pruned but need to know what time of the year.

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  7. Anonymous in Western Australia, I would recommend that you prune your Cassia back after flowering when the tree drops its leaves. It will take quite a hard trim back, don't worry. They are a very hardy tree. You will probably need to keep trimming it each year as they do grow rather tall. The Cassia can in fact be trimmed any time of year, but it's just easier to do it during the deciduous phase.

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  8. My neighbour has one of these trees and although it is beautiful we have a pool that collects all the leaves then the flowers. I can put up with this but it is right on the fence line and the brick fence has begun to crack and I have noticed our pavers around the pool have begun to lift up in a line. Would the rrot system from the golden shower be causing this?

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  9. Hi Am Prasanth from Melbourne.This flower is popular in my place back in India (south state called Kerala).I would like to know in Australia from where we can get a seed ?

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  10. I just love the LOOK of your tree...I say look, because mine has NEVER flowered and has been in about 7-10yrs, stands about 7-8ft high and it does seem to hate frosts which in Perth Western australia we do get although we are only 5mins from the ocean....now it is dropping it's leaves and going yellow and sick like it does in the winter after frost...I am so frustrated...we did have a record heatwave a week ago but I do make the effort to keep it watered...any suggestions? Bevvy.

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  11. This tree grows unbelievably well in Sydney's western suburbs. I have seen one or two spectacular specimens, always in bloom. The problem is finding it for sale.

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    1. Adam I live is Sydney and I'am in need of the cassia fistula seeds/pods. to treat my daughter's skin conditions. back where I come from we used it as a home remedy. please If you could reply back to me ASAP I would forever be grateful.
      kvp1973@hotmail.com

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  12. I planted Cassia when i arrived from Bangkok where i was able to get a pod and extract the seeds from it. I planted them when i arrived in the Philippines and started growing after 3-4 months. I am so excited to see them bloom. How soon will it bloom?

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    1. In my experience here in the tropics, it takes between 3 - 5 years before a young Cassis will bloom. They do need to mature a bit before they throw out flowerheads.

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    2. I live in Rural Darwin. My six Cassia Fistula have flowered around Sept-October after one year and a half in the ground since seed. This includes two wet seasons. I watered them one 9ltr watering can a week for the first six months. During the dry season they all lost their leaves. So they do in fact need water to look nice, but they will survive without it. One is growing where a termite mound once stood and the leaves are yellow. Maybe the PH is too acidic there? I will hit it with Iron Chelate this week to see if that helps. Anyway, I would like to confirm they do in fact flower in less than two years.

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  13. If pruned and controlled to a height of 3-4 meters( 8 to 12 feet)and 8feet wide, will they trees still bloom ? I love this flower, but I have very limited space...

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  14. I have several Cassia trees bcoz their seeds blow all around the yard and they are literally coming up everywhere! I love the tree, however my neighbour complained so much about the mess it was making in his pool bcoz it was on our fenceline, that i had to cut it down! He is unaware of the other Cassia trees tho as my garage hides them frm his sight!

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  15. We have a cassia tree 4 or 5 y old in Perth WA, never flowered, only gets leaves in January every year and is 1m tall. Is there hope it might flower one year and what's the best care for it?

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