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The fruits of Butea

May 4, 2010

In a previous blog I described how I found fruits of Butea superba, a native liana with orange-red blossom. Below I show a picture of the fruits of the two native species within the genus Butea. Since Butea is  a legume (Fabaceae), the picture shows the one-seeded pods. For quick germination, it is recommended that you open up the pod, which is a little bit tricky, and then you take out the pink and flat seed and sow it in a pot with soil. On top, you have B. monosperma, the tree which is the symbol of the Chiang Mai province. Below, is the pod of B. superba, the vanishing medicinal liana. The only difference is in size (130 mm vs 90 mm). The colours depend on sun exposure and soil exposure. The horn-like appendage is the point of attachment to the twig. Since all seeds but one have been reduced, most of the pod has been transformed into a wing. This is very functional, as this is a season with strong winds, and this is the early rainy season, why the young seedling has about six months to get established. You can get them now from our sales nursery, and they will have the whole rainy season for their establishment.

Eric Danell

Top: Butea monosperma, tree.

Bottom: Butea superba, liana.

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