Species Guide: Common Urban Trees


A flowering african tulip. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Common name: African tulip

Malay name: Pancut-pancut

Scientific name: Spathodea campanulata

Conservation status: Least concerned, Cultivated, Introduced (Tropical Africa)


A medium-sized tree that grows 16-30 m tall. Tree crown is oval and bushy. Bear clusters of large, showy flowers. Flowers are somewhat bell-shaped, lobed, orange-red. Produces woody capsules that split when mature.

The bell-shaped flower of african tulip. Photo by Goh Shang Ming
The african tulip flower has a crinkled, yellow margin. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Habit: Perennial tree

Cultivation: It is planted by seeds, cuttings, grafting or root suckers

Ecological function: The large, bell-shaped flowers attract pollinators like birds. The tree is shade-providing. It is used for soil improvement, reforestation and erosion control. It is planted as a living fence. The leaves of this tree make a useful mulch.

Pollinator: Birds, bats

Soil: Loamy soils

Moisture: Well-drained, fertile soils

Shade: No shade

Use: Ornamental

By ShangMing

A plant lover. I like small, medium, gigantic, ordinary, exotic, local, foreign plants. Just because they thrive to stand out.