Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Ear Pod Tree, Elephant's Ear, Monkey Ear
Enterolobium cyclocarpum

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Enterolobium (en-ter-oh-LOW-bee-um) (Info)
Species: cyclocarpum

9 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

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

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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to view:

By palmbob
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5 positives
1 neutral
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive sandu On Feb 20, 2013, sandu from Trinity, FL wrote:

This tree is all that everyone says: Large and sprawling. Information that this tree is living in Pasco County, city of New Port Richey.

Neutral Whitmanfarm On May 18, 2012, Whitmanfarm from De Land, FL wrote:

We have always had these trees at the town house and out here on the farm for as long as I can remember and they are great trees if you have the land to let them reach their full potential . They do grow very fast and very big ( both the tree and the root system . The green wood is pretty flexable and that might lead people to belive they are wind resistant but thats not entirely true because it is a fairly brittle wood . You also want to keep it pruned really well , during fall and winter it will die back and the dead wood will dry out and become very weak ( Think Balsa wood weak ) They do bloom with really cool powder puff looking flowers and the bees love them . The main reason that some cities concider them invasive is due to owners not properly maintaining their trees or yards but it is not on Floridas Invasive plant list , it's just a local restriction because they might be growing close to roads Sidewalks and other infrastructure concerns . Just plant them away from such concerns and rake up the ears when they drop and you will have a beautyful tree in less than 5 years . I will add , don't hang a swing from them or build a tree house in one because they do get weak and dry during the fall wnd winter . Also keep them pruned every year ( During the winter or just before spring ) One of the nice things about this type of tree is , if you see any damage or rot that is causing the tree to die off from the trunk up , you can just cut it off below the problem area and it will bounce back fast to an even bushier trees . Another thing to think about is it is part of the Legume familly and is a Nitrogen fixer for soil and every area in Florida needs Nitrogen in the soil . The leaf litter is excellent for keeping the natural microbes going but as with any tree or plant if the litter gets too thick under it it will choke out grass or other plants you are growing under it . It all boils down to location and proper maintance . If you don't want it to get so big you have to pay someone to prune it for you , just don't let it get that big , keep it cut down to a size you can deal with yourself and don't worry about trimming it back too far , you can't kill this tree unless you cut it down to the ground , drill holes into the heart of the stump and then put Pure ( Nondiluted )Commercial Grade Glysophate in the holes . Thats about the only thing I have found that will kill an established tree .

Positive oahuhiker On Nov 12, 2010, oahuhiker from Honolulu, HI wrote:

The Earpod is an impressive, grand tree in Hawaii; can see one at Baker Park, corner of Makiki Heights Drive & Makiki St. Huge trunk and branches... grass grows nicely underneath. There are only a few specimens found on Oahu - not invasive at all, even by tree-hater standards. The seed pods can be big as your outstretched hand, not those little wimpy things like in FL :) The seeds have interesting color design and are sometimes used in seed leis.

Negative Mlooska On Jul 18, 2010, Mlooska from Bushnell, FL wrote:

I bought this at a yard sale as a "mimosa" and unfortunately planted it too close to my house. It grows fast and the root system was uprooting the sidewalk. I had it cut down and "stump grinding" on the remaining trunk. It has re-grown and refuses to die. A pretty tree, in the right place. I did not think there was a market for this tree, I will grow some more from seedlngs, maybe someone will want some. However, I will not sell it as a Mimosa.

Positive Todd82TA On Nov 16, 2007, Todd82TA from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

It's a fun tree to grow from seed. The people giving it a negative are just being haters. This tree is awesome. If properly cared for, it's a very elegant looking tree. The pods are very unique and provide interest to the tree. In a proportionally correct yard, this tree can make an excellent focal-point to the landscape.

Negative neon9 On Jul 9, 2004, neon9 from Orlando, FL wrote:

This is an invasive species that will grow from a trunk that has been chopped into 2' sections. It is prohibited from being planted by many cities in Florida (Orlando, for one).

Negative MotherNature4 On Jun 10, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a fast growing and has interesting seed pods that look like black ears. Unfortunately it is a trashy tree with many unwanted seedlings. We are in central Florida where the tree is fairly common.

Positive TamiMcNally On Jun 9, 2004, TamiMcNally from Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Fast growing
Wind resistant

Positive palmbob On May 17, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Massive tree with huge grey trunk- some get trunks that are easily 20' in circumference. Loses leaves in dry season exposing ear-shaped seed-pods. Has twisted, spreading branches. Tree I saw in Hawaii was exceptionally huge (about 80-100' tall) and took up a huge part of the acreage of this park. Don't know when the dry season in Hawaii is (is there one?) but it's not May so didn't get to see the pods. Native of Central to S America


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

Alva, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Bushnell, Florida
Casselberry, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Deland, Florida
Deltona, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hudson, Florida
Lake Mary, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Titusville, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Honolulu, Hawaii

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