Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

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12 members have or want this plant for trade.

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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


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

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

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

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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive eliasastro 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!

Positive popper1 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.

Positive desertboot 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.


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

Spring Valley, California
Homestead, Florida
Mulberry, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida

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