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Cape Chestnut
Scientific Name: Calodendrum capense (L.f.) Thunb.
Synonym:
Family: Rutaceae
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 19,21-24
USDA: 9b-11

Frost Tolerance: Young trees need protection against frost

Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade

Origin: Coastal Africa, from Ethiopia to South Africa

Growth Habits: Evergreen or deciduous tree, fast growing to 20 to 70 feet tall (6-21 m), 25 to 40 feet wide (7.5-12 m), dense rounded shape; smooth gray trunk; dark green, relatively large, scented leaves with entire margin, 2 to 9 inches long (5-22 cm), 0.8 to 4 inches wide (2-10 cm); the leaves have a citrus smell when crushed

Watering Needs: Regular water in summer, dislikes windy locations

Propagation: Seeds or softwood cuttings in spring or early summer, under mist


The genus name 'Calodendrum' comes from the Greek for 'beautiful tree'.

Blooming Habits:
Striking, large, faintly sweet-scented flowers, with long narrow curved petals, in conspicuous terminal panicles during early summer. The trees need to be 6 to 8 years old to bloom.

Fruiting Habits:
The fruit is a large 5-lobed woody knobbly capsule, 1.6 inches in diameter (4 cm), splitting during late summer to autumn. It contains large light, smooth, black seeds.


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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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