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Flame of the Forest, Parrot Tree, Bastard Teak

Butea monosperma

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Butea (bew-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: monosperma (mon-oh-SPER-muh) (Info)
Synonym:Butea frondosa
Synonym:Erythrina monosperma
Synonym:Plaso monosperma
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


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

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Scarlet (Dark Red)


Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring



Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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

Spring Valley, California

Homestead, Florida

Mulberry, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 4, 2011, eliasastro from Athens
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

The biggest problem in growing this tree from seed is the relatively short germination viability.
I've read that seed viability is less than 6 months.
I've ordered seeds 4 times from different sources and i only have one seedling! Very exciting though!


On Sep 14, 2007, popper1 from Lakeland, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a beautiful tree, but not if you are looking for a typical tree-shaped tree. The tree tends to take on unusual forms- the trunk and limbs twist and contort, giving small trees an ancient look. Bark is also very rough, adding to its aged look.
Leaves are trifoliate and large, deciduous in the winter. When the winter/spring flowers appear, the tree is an amazing site. Flowers are densely packed, pea like, bright red and found in clusters along the limbs. The individual flowers have a very interesting exotic shape and are velvety to the touch.
A lot of literature says it is a very slow growing tree, but mine can grow quickly in the summer if fertilized and well watered. I let it dry out when it loses its leaves in the winter.


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

So far so good! Six saplings, collected from a Forest Dept. Nursery in South India and planted 8th August are faring extremely well along an east facing stone wall. One of them seemed a bit unsettled by a long journey in the boot and looked like it might not survive. Planted it anyway, and the good news is that it's just begun to sprout a fresh set of leaves.