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Tropical / Elephant-ear Tree (Enterolobium cyclocarpum)

Elephant-ear Tree (Enterolobium cyclocarpum)
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The national tree of Costa Rica produces brown, coiled pods with ornate seeds. The seeds are often used for jewellery and the natural way it spreads is as of today still unknown.

Expected processing time

2 days

€ 4,00
Price per 5 seeds


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Common name:
Elephant-ear tree / Guanacaste / Caro Caro

Latin America

The Elephant-ear tree is the national tree of Costa Rica. This beautiful tree can reach a height of 35 meters and grow a magnificent wide crown of pinnate leaves, which makes it a source of shade in hot countries. After flowering, it takes 9 or 10 months before the first small green pods are visible. Afterwards, these colour brown, roll up and are about 12cm tall. The brown seeds are very graceful with light brown rings, and are often used as jewelry in Costa Rica. They have a hard seed shell and, as far as we know, aren’t been spread by animals. After maturation they fall down next to the tree on the ground and remain there. Perhaps the former seed spreader is nowadays extinct. 

The species can also be kept as a decorative houseplant.

Germination instructions:
Carefully force the seeds with a vise or hammer and then let them soak in lukewarm water for 24 hours. Sow them in sowing mix, keep the soil constantly moist and let them germinate at around 25 degC.

Sowing time:
All year round

Photo 1: C.M. Tungol via Flickr
Photo 2: Zoom's Edible Plants (blog)
Photo 3: James Seakley (CCA-3.0 Wikipedia)


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