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Cassia grandis

Cassia grandis

This tree produces large clusters of pink five-petaled flowers on the current season’s growth. The flowers are followed by the production of large numbers of long (18 – 24 inches), cylindrical black pods about ¾ inch in diameter that mature during the winter season and litter the ground beneath the tree for several months. Inside each pod are a considerable number of easily separated dime-sized “wafers”, each containing a single light brown hard seed.

There is no shortage of seedling trees beneath the parent tree. Flowering is improved by moderate to heavy pruning, which results in the production of numerous long and vigorous flowering shoots. Regular pruning is also necessary to remove branches that die back due to heavy shading by branches growing above them. This species is one of the parents of the sterile hybrid “Rainbow Shower Tree” planted along portions of Kamahameha Drive in downtown Hilo.

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