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Propagating Chiranthrodendron pentadactylon – Berkeley, CA

May 4, 2013

Almost exactly a month ago I put up these photos and some background info on Chiranthrodendron pentadactylon, also known as the Devil’s Hand Tree (due to the spectacular flowers). This is a great fantastic tree, a member of the Malvaceae / Bombacaceae / Sterculiaceae family. native to temperate cloud forests of Guatemala and S. Mexico.

I collected seeds from a large specimen in the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden and put them in the ground to germinate. Then I left for Europe for five weeks,  got back (to Berkeley, CA) a week ago and found that they’ve all germinated. So now I have way more seedlings then I’ll ever know what to do with. I guess I’ll be guerrilla planting them around town.

I took the photo below the day I got back… by now most of the seedlings have pushed out their first set of true leaves.

I have never grown this species before, but reportedly they are fast growing. I’ll post follow-up photos in a few weeks.

C. pentadacylon, germinating

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2013 10:08:35 am

    Good work!

  2. May 4, 2013 10:08:20 pm

    An awesome success Spencer! It’s like you just had 1000 children all at once :). If you do get around to guerrilla planting them around town there are going to be some very puzzled people in about 15 years time wondering where all of these beautiful exotics came from 😉

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