Pentace burmanica Kurz, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Pt. 2, Nat. Hist. 40: 47 1871.;

Myanmar [Burma], Thailand, Laos, Cambodia as per Catalogue of Life;

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Elephant Foot Tree. : 13 posts by 6 authors. Attachments (2)

2 pix taken at Agri-horticultural Society, Alipore Kolkata.
The dia of the tree is about 2 m making the girth about 6.5 m.
The tree’s 1st branch is at at over 10 m.  Total ht estimated to be above 18m.
Presently leafless, will be flowering now. Buds take a long time to grow and bloom.


This is Cavanillesia platanifolia, the “Quipo” (kee-po) tree of Panama. It is a member of the Bombacaceae along with Ceiba, Bombax, Adansonia. It has small flowers, but large, five winged fruit that flutter down, and begin to germinate as soon as they get moist. They grow rather slowly, and take a long time to get to this size. The bands along the trunk are characteristic.



Taken during Panama Canal construction:


Apologies in advance. One more. This is one of my favorite tree species:


Lovely sights, …
Many thanks for sharing the pictures … its a treat to see such different kind of sturdy and robust trees.


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Thanks for your lovely pix, both, of impressive trees.

However, there is confusion about the latin name. The name on the tree says Pentace burmanica, fam Tiliaceae, native of Burma (now Myanmar). I attach a pix of the name pasted on the tree whose images I posted. Would like your comments.


It certainly could be, but since there are no available photos of the species on the web I can’t say. Do you have any other photos? It certainly looks like a Quipo. I have discovered that labels in botanical gardens can be incorrect. A local garden had a massive, 120 ft. tree labelled Terminalia arjuna. After looking at other Arjuns, I went looking and discovered that the tree was actually Terminalia superba. The fact was later confirmed by the curator.


I have gone back and look at the original photos again, and I am 99% certain that it is a Cavanillesia platanifolia. The buttressing by the base is also characteristic:
Your tree:
Cavanillesia growing in Puerto Rico:

Fantastic discussion! 
Is it possible that perhaps 200 years back seeds of this tree…brought to Burma by sailors from the west and…possibly had one or two saplings there (and for want of information renamed…understandable in those days of no internet) following which one of them was transported to Kolkata (present picture)? In all probability I feel it must have been renamed in Kolkata (by a suitably imaginative person). 
Again I may be wrong. 
It would be interesting if … could take up this issue with the Alipore botanical authorities (perhaps over email to begin with…it is so much more easier to share all the information which otherwise would become a daunting task).


Excellent idea.

Many times though, it is more simple than that. The tree is probably 80-100 years old, based on the size of local specimens, and at some point a.) the original tag fell off and b.) the curator left/died. This is what happened at Flamingo Gardens with the Terminalia. Someone has a list of trees, and an arboretum without tags, and has to say, “well, which one is this?”, and start making determinations.
Because the tag relates to a Burmese tree, it makes it all the more interesting and, at this time, difficult.


Thanks … for correct info and suggestions. I will inform the Agri-Horticultural Society to have the name plate corrected.


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