Propagating Chiranthrodendron pentadactylon – Berkeley, CA
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.