Colvillea Species, Colville's Glory Tree, Whip Tree

Colvillea racemosa

Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Colvillea (kol-VIL-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: racemosa (ray-see-MO-suh) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Coto de Caza, California

Fullerton, California

Portola Hills, California

Vista, California

Homestead, Florida

Leesburg, Florida

Mulberry, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Titusville, Florida

Venice, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Hana, Hawaii

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 28, 2015, StPeteFL from Saint Petersburg, FL wrote:

Easy to grow from seed, seeds resemble pumpkin seeds so germination is similar. Nick seed on side, soak in 1:10 peroxide/water for 24 hours, then into folded paper towel squeezed as dry as possible after soaking in same solution, then into Ziploc bag for 3--5 days, lighted room, temp. 75-78F. Check daily starting at day three, to continue growth germinated seed should be moved immediately into 3-5 oz. cups of lightly moist potting mix, about 1/2" below soil surface. Germination rate for me was 70% for ten seeds, three seeds floated at 24 hours so they were probably immature. I was very happy with this method, sure beat waiting 2-3 moths to determine results.

Potted plants are now 24-36" tall at 10 months, they did have a dormant period from November through February he... read more


On Sep 11, 2013, FlaFlower from Titusville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love my tree, bloomed the second season I got it (This year) first year it took off great 4 foot growth first year but the second year slowed down considerable. Thank goodness, I almost thought it was going to be a weed like the Royal Poinciana, but its darling not near as big (In a monster type way) perfect for my yard because we butterfly garden, it fits in perfect, we always ad a good stream of visitors but we never had so many flutterbugs and hummingbirds until this tree bloomed, the visitors never stopped. We were enthralled!! I got my little tree off Ebay.


On Mar 26, 2013, Ed_Williams from Brisbane,
Australia wrote:

Hi, long time reader first time commenter, I'm the Supervisor at The City Botanic Gardens in Brisbane, we have several mature and some 5-8 year old young specimens. They flower brilliantly here, sometimes twice a year, seems to coincide with higher rainfall stats. Parrots and bees love them and photographers can't stop clicking away at them.


On Oct 6, 2008, geobar from Tortuga,
Trinidad and Tobago wrote:

However, I was surprised to see it as requiring continuous watering.
C. racemosa is a native of Madagascar and I understand grows in a similar environment to the other well known natives, Delonix regia and D. decaryi, which are from semi-arid environments.
I have never seen one flowering in my country, Trinidad and Tobago, as I believe rainfall is too high (about 2000mm yearly).
I have four plants that I grew from seeds sent to me from a kind lady in Germany (surprising?) in exchange for some seeds of the "Bootlace tree" - Eperua falcata - a native of Guyana, which grows very well in our national Botanic Gardens in Port of Spain. My Colvilleas are only 3 years old and are in pots until later this year.
George de Verteuil, Trinidad,


On Dec 30, 2007, einaudi from Hana, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I first saw Colvillea racemosa at Hotel Hana-Maui (Hawaii), leaf-less, and looking like a massive, upright version of Delonix regia. Seedlings, sprouted 15 days after soaking in hot water, were planted-out 10 months later. This is a fast-growing tree when young.


On Oct 17, 2007, popper1 from Lakeland, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Another great subfamily Caesalpiniaceae, family Fabaceae tree. Foliage is beautiful, twice pinnate leaves with numerous small leaflets. Looks very similar to Delonix regia when not in bloom, leaves are not quite as bright green as D regia. Tree does not get the incredible spread of canopy that the Delonix gets either.
Flowers are very different. the clustered Inflorescences are foot or more long, with grape-like clusters of round bright orange/red flower buds. These open from the top down, spilling out long yellow/orange stamens, giving a feathery look to the flowers. Amazing site when a tree is in full bloom.
Blooms late summer to fall. Full sun & water. Briefly looses leaves in winter. Fast growing.