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Bonfire Tree

Firmiana colorata

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Firmiana (fer-mee-AY-nuh) (Info)
Species: colorata (kol-oh-RAY-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Erythropsis colorata
Synonym:Sterculia colorata
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer




Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Hollywood, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 26, 2007, barrystock from Hollywood, FL wrote:

I grew a bunch of these from seed sent from India. In the pot they grow rather slowly, and I have lost some to rot during the winter. In the pot they are leafless for about six months, and are just awaking from dormancy now (late June). They seem to be much happier in the ground, as is evidenced by the size of the one in the photo, which was in the pot until three months ago, and was a twig. Plants the same age in pots are still twigs. I suspect they will also have a much shorter dormancy once planted out.

One interesting note that doesn't appear in any of the literature that I have found: the foliage gives off a pronounced odor of dung, very similar to that of its cousin Sterculia foetida. S. foetida gives off the odor through the flowers, while, for some reason, Firmiana c... read more


On May 1, 2004, desertboot from Bangalore,
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a small-medium deciduous, indigenous to India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka. Here in India, mostly a jungle species; a rarity in urban gardens. Seeds collected last weekend now under scrutiny.

Trunk and branches: straight, sometimes ridged; short branches forming a compact and well-balanced crown. What one would call a "dapper" tree, perhaps? Bark: ashy-brown; young shoots covered in grey pubescence.

Leaves are simple, palm-sized, almost heart-shaped, crowded at the ends of branches. An abundance of red-orange/crimson-brown flowers, each about an inch long, tubular, no petals, calyx with 5 triangular teeth. Flowers densely clustered at the ends of branches. Buds, flower-stalks, flowers covered in velvety down. Blooms (in South India, between February-March) w... read more