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Plant Identification: SOLVED: tree with pods full of fuzzy seeds, California

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Fruticosa
Midway City, CA

April 10, 2010
8:04 PM

Post #7695729

This is the second time I've seen this tree in Southern California in the last couple years. I believe the first time was where there was a line of these trees outside a business building in Santa Ana, Orange County, and this specimen I photographed today is growing in Lakeside, San Diego County, outside a taco shop. The most striking thing about the tree is these fairly large, chestnut brown pods, that are split open on one side, with very fuzzy seeds inside. The seeds are the size, color, and shape of corn kernels, and the fuzz seems to be only on the cap of the seeds, like a fuzzy cap on an acorn. This is a low priority ID but it would be interesting to know since apparently I'll keep seeing it every so often outside of businesses in Southern California.

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Fruticosa
Midway City, CA

April 10, 2010
8:07 PM

Post #7695735

Here is the pair of trees in full. I estimate they're about 20 feet tall.
(The funny flat top on the tree on the right is the top of a lamp post behind the tree--the tree isn't wearing a cap.)

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Fruticosa
Midway City, CA

April 10, 2010
8:08 PM

Post #7695740

Here is one of the trunks. It's whitish and fairly smooth, with occasional horizontal markings, all of which remind me of aspen trunks.

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Fruticosa
Midway City, CA

April 10, 2010
8:11 PM

Post #7695749

Neither of my two leaf photos turned out since the wind was blowing and I was getting motion blur, so this additional photo of the pods, in this case along a stem, will have to suffice. The leaves have a somewhat pronounced diamond shape that remind me of leaves from cottonwood trees or Bo trees.

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lroot
Hollywood, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 10, 2010
9:16 PM

Post #7695850

Brachychiton populneus, a somewhat common tree in SoCal.
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/57651/

This message was edited Apr 10, 2010 9:17 PM
Fruticosa
Midway City, CA

April 10, 2010
9:22 PM

Post #7695862

Iroot gets the prize!
"Bottle Tree," per the Plant Files. Easy to grow, and you can eat the seeds, even when raw. Cool. Maybe I should try a few seeds and report back.
Thanks, Iroot!

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