Colvillea racemosa (Colville's Glory)


  • TropPlant Accession Number (TPAN): 0086
  • Botanical Name: Colvillea racemosa
  • Common Name: Colville's Glory
  • Cultivar: N/A
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Native To: Madagascar 
Colvillea racemosa inflorescence
Photo by Matthew Gaston

Landscaping Information

    • Plant Type: Tree
    • Texture: Fine
    • Form: Round-Headed to Spreading
    • Height (on average, in landscape use): 25'-30'
    • Height to Spread Ratio: 1:1
    • Growth Rate: Medium
    • Landscape Values: Street Tree, Background, Color, Facer, Filler, Shade, Specimen
    • Outstanding Quality: Flower Color, Seasonal Color, Foliage Characters
    Colvillea racemosa in front of St. John Plant Sciences at UH Manoa in summer
    Photo by Matthew Gaston
    Colvillea racemosa in front of St. John Plant Sciences at UH Manoa in winter
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Botanical Descriptions

    • Flowers: 1.25"-2" long, scarlet to orange, Cassia-type flowers arranged on a conical raceme 6"-12" long. No fragrance; known to attract many pollinators. 
    Colvillea racemosa flower
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Colvillea racemosa flower
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    • Fruits: Woody oblong capsule 5"-8".
    Colvillea racemosa fruits from afar
    Photo by Matthew Gaston 

    • Foliage Color: Young/immature:  Light Green. Mature: Bright medium green on adaxial surface, light green on abaxial surface
    • Leaflet Tip: Rounded to Obtuse
    • Leaflet Base: Rounded
    • Petiole: 2.5"-3.5"
    • Stipules: Yes, small 0.1"
    • Margins: Smooth
    • Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
    • Leaflet Shape: Linear to Oblong
    • Leaf Type: Twice Pinnate
    • Leaf Texture: Soft, delicate, feathery, waxy
    • Leaf Special Notes: A delicate leaf that flows in the wind - the movement can be likened to a peacock's tail feathers. Drops its leaves in the winter months.
    Colvillea racemosa adaxial leaf surface
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Colvillea racemosa abaxial leaf surface
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    • Bark and Trunk: mild rigging in mature bark, generally a softer appearance. grayish brown. with notes of umber. 
    Colvillea racemosa trunk
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Horticultural Information

      • Light Preference: Full Sun
      • Light Tolerances: Semi-Sun
      • Soil Preferences: Moist, Well-Drained.
      • Tolerances: slight Drought
      • Water Requirements:  Naturally grows in lowland forests and savannah; ergo it can tolerate drier soils, but does best with moderate watering. 
      • Notes on Maintenance: Drops its leaves in the winter months creating rubbish. Flowers can also create rubbish. Branches are known to die when the blooms on the end are spent. These dead branches usually break off by next flowering season.
      • Propagation: Seed, Cutting
      • Minimum USDA Hardiness Zone: 10a
      • Weed Risk Assessment Score (WRA): -8, Low Risk

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