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Autograph Tree, Balsam Apple, Fat Park Tree
Scientific Name: Clusia rosea Jacq.
Synonym: Clusia major
Family: Clusiaceae
Autograph Tree, Balsam Apple, Fat Park Tree (Clusia  rosea)
Clusia rosea, leaves, photo by Forest & Kim Starr
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 25
USDA: 10-12

Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Origin: Southern Mexico to northern South America, West Indies

Growth Habits: Large evergreen shrub or tree, 20 to 50 feet tall (6-15 m), 15 to 30 feet spread (4.5 to 9 m); thick, leathery keaves, 5 to 7 inches long (12-17 cm) or more

Watering Needs: Moderate water, tolerates drought and salty conditions

Propagation: Seeds, hardwood cuttings


Gutta-percha is a resin extracted from the seeds. Many of the species of clusia start their life as epiphyte. The glue helps the seed to stick to the branches.
'Variegata' is a cultivar with striking yellow and green foliage.

Clusia rosea, flower, photo by Forest & Kim Starr

Clusia rosea, fruit, photo by Forest & Kim Starr

Blooming Habits:
Dioecious. Showy, drooping, flowers, 3 inches in diameter (7.5 cm) with thick pearly pink petals and yellow stamens. The Clusia blooms during the warmest months.

Fruiting Habits:
Woody, green pod, 3 to 6 inches long (7-15 cm), blackish when mature, splitting to reveal red seeds in a resinous flesh.


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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