Couroupita guianensis, known by several common names, including cannonball tree, is a deciduous tree in the family Lecythidaceae, which also contains the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa). It is native to the rainforests of Central and South America. The tree grows up to 35 metres in height. The clustered leaves vary in length, generally from 8 to 31 cm, but reaching up to 57 cm.
The fragrant flowers are borne in large bunches up to 80 meters long. Some trees flower profusely, until the entire trunk is buried in flowers. One tree can bear 1000 flowers per day. They are strongly scented, especially at night, and in the early morning. They are large, up to 6 cm wide, and often brightly coloured, the six petals in shades of pink and red near the bases and yellowish toward the tips. There is a ring of stamens at the centre, and an arrangement to stamens that have been modified into a hood.
The large fruit, which is woody and very spherical, measuring up to 25 cm wide, gives the species the common name “cannonball tree”. A smaller fruit contains perhaps 65 seeds, while a large one can have 550. One tree can bear 150 fruits. The fruit takes up to a year to mature in most areas, sometimes as long as 18 months.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.