Cavanillesia platanifolia
Common Name: cavanillesia 
Type: Tree
Family: Malvaceae
Native Range: Colombia, Ecuador, Panamá, Peru
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 40.00 to 150.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 110.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Red-pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Flowering Tree
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in evenly moist, well-draining loams in full sun. Prefers climates with a wet/dry seasonal cycle. Hardy in tropical Zones 12 and above.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cavanillesia platanifolia, commonly called cuipo (sometimes spelled quipo), is a tall, fast-growing, deciduous tree native to tropical forests of Nicaragua south to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Mature specimens can reach between 100-150' tall with relatively small, sparsely branched, hemispherical-shaped crowns between 70-110' wide. The trunk is straight with smooth, grey bark marked by distinct growth rings every few feet. The trunks of mature specimens may have small buttresses at their base and can also swell to store water. The wood is light and not useful for lumber but dugout canoes can be made from the trunks. The foliage is ovate to lobed in shape, 8-12" long, and has a fuzzy texture on the lower leaf surface. The leaves fall off the trees during the dry season and reemerge when wet conditions return. Terminal clusters of small, red-pink flowers bloom during the dry season and are followed by large, 6" wide, winged fruits. Both flowering and fruiting take place while the tree is leafless.

Genus name honors Antonio Jose Cavanilles (d. 1804) director of the botanical garden in Madrid, Spain.

The specific epithet platanifolia means "having leaves like Platanus", in reference to the lobed, mature form of the foliage.


Termites are a potential pest.


Can be grown as an ornamental in a large garden or park.