Cassia grandis

Common Name: pink shower 
Type: Tree
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Central and South America
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 40.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 40.00 to 60.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Coral pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zone 9b where it is grown in average, medium moisture well drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Established trees have some drought tolerance. Site in locations protected from drying winds. Intolerant of frost. Propagate from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cassia grandis, commonly called pink shower, is a medium-sized tree that typically matures to 40-60' tall, but sometimes to as much as 100' tall in the lowland forests of its native habitat in Central and northern South America. It is noted for producing large pinnate leaves, a showy display of pink flowers in spring and large bean-like seed pods. This tree is now grown primarily as an ornamental in tropical and subtropical areas around the world. Each even-pinnate compound leaf (6-10" long) has 8-20 pairs of small elliptic-oblong leaflets (each to 2.5" long). This tree is considered semi-evergreen (drops some leaves during the year, sometimes during dry season). This tree is particularly noted for producing a show-stopping bloom of coral pink flowers arranged in 4-10" long drooping racemes (20-40 flowers per raceme) in early spring. Leaf drop often occurs in winter with the new leaves emerging on the tree in February as the flowers appear. Bloom time extends from February-April, but in some climates begins later in spring extending into summer. Flowers are followed by slender, woody bean pods which grow to 2' (infrequently to 3') long. Each pod has 70-80 seeds. Pods emerge green but mature to black, remaining on the tree until the following year. Sticky brown pulp inside the pods has been used in herbal medicines.

Genus name comes from the Greek name for a genus of leguminous plants which provide the senna leaves and pods important in pharmacy.

Specific epithet means big or showy.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Some tolerance for brief light frost with temperatures to 25 degrees F. Mildew and leaf spot.

Garden Uses

Ornamental. Shade tree. Formerly planted in some populated areas as a street tree, but this use has waned as planners have shifted to using Cassia x nealiae for this purpose because this hybrid does not drop as many leaves at flowering time and does not produce seed pods. Lawn specimen.