What a wonderful article and one I have been waiting for. Two years ago, while on a tour of the gardens at Festival Hill, Texas, I was allowed to take seeds from numerous plants. The camptotheca acuminata tree was one of them. I now have seedlings about 8 inches high. Next spring I will put them in larger pots and hopefully they will grow faster. I want to get them to a good height before I actually plant one in the landscape (plus it will give me more time to figure out where I want it). I will reserve the second one just in case the first one can't handle our harsh Texas summers. They are currently in my greenhouse. I was told on the tour that this tree was used for medicinal uses such as leukemia but there was no other information available. Thank you so much for all your research!
Thanks greatly for your reply to the article. I'm glad it "hit the spot" and you found some useful information.
I don't think your C. acuminata will experience any trouble with Texas summers. The temperatures here in Jacksonville, Florida, can hover just below (and sometimes slightly over) 100 F from about June through August. One difference in climate between here and Texas may be our nearly constant high humidity, even in the cooler months. My C. acuminata was hit hard by our colder than usual winter last year (sustained temperatures just above 20 F for several nights), but it leafed out great this spring and continues to grow. I think I planted my Happy Tree in too much shade and the lack of full sun along with the winter die back have kept it short (about 6 ft high after about 2 years). I am fine with that as I don't think I want it to get to its full height of about 80 ft! The large old live oaks in my yard already provide plenty of shade.
It's great that you got the C. acuminata seeds to germinate and grow! Best of luck with seeing them through to their full fruition!