Cannonball tree rediscovered in Thailand

I saw my first cannonball tree (Couroupita  guianensis) not in Thailand or Laos, but lately I stumble over this fascinating tree all over. And I have bought four large cannonball trees for Discovery Garden Pattaya. We can also supply big cannonball trees all over Thailand, but they are not cheap.

I saw my first cannonball tree in Rio de Janeiro

I saw my first cannonball tree in Rio de Janeiro

It was an instant love affair: I saw my first cannonball tree (Couroupita  guianensis)about four years ago in Rio de Janeiro and was fascinated by those large brown fruits hanging from its trunk and the wonderful flowers. I asked some locals to write the name down in Portuguese so I could google it. And I returned the same night and stole one of those heavy cannonballs.

Fruits of the cannonball tree are heavy, I learned it the hard way

Fruits of the cannonball tree are heavy, I learned it the hard way

After carrying that heavy fruit through half of Brazil, it finally matured and fell apart, releasing many fresh seeds which I wanted to take back to Thailand. But it not only released those seeds, it did smell horribly and the maid in the hotel asked me, if I came from an area in Brazil where many cannonball trees are grown, quite an embarrassing experience.

The flower of the cannonball tree is beautiful and smells well

The flower of the cannonball tree is beautiful and smells well

Those stinking cannonball tree seeds made it all the way back to Thailand, but then my partner threw them away: Thais in general are very sensitive when it comes to “bad smell”. But, of course, they love the good smell of the beautiful cannonball flowers. A mature cannonball tree can grow up to 35 meters height and produce up to 1000 flowers a day.

A fully grown cannonball tree can have up to 1000 flowers per day

A fully grown cannonball tree can have up to 1000 flowers per day

I thought about those strange cannonball trees now and then,but never saw any in Thailand during the next four years. When one of my readers of the gardening column in “Farang” Magazine wrote to me that he has one of those strange trees in his garden, I became quite jealous.

Finally I got seeds of a cannonball tree in Thailand

Finally I got seeds of a cannonball tree in Thailand

Then a friend of mine from the North sent me pictures of a cannonball tree near his house and later some seeds. By the way, his wife complained bitterly about the bad smell in her kitchen where he had retrieved those seeds…

It takes a while to grow cannonball trees from Thai or Lao seeds

It takes a while to grow cannonball trees from Thai or Lao seeds

But now I could not wait any longer when I suddenly discovered cannonball trees all over: At “The Verona” gas station toilet between Kabin Buri and Korat, at the Samui airport and at Huai Yai temple just a few kilometers from Discovery Garden Pattaya. The Thai brother in law finally found suppliers and I had four cannonball trees planted at Discovery Garden Pattaya.

A huge truck delivered those Thai cannonball trees

A huge truck delivered those Thai cannonball trees

As you can imagine those big Thai cannonball trees are quite expensive.

A big hole for a cannonball tree

A big hole for a cannonball tree

Diligent workers first drilled some giant holes.

This is fast track cannonball tree planting

This is fast track cannonball tree planting

One of four flies in…

Step by step

Step by step

Almost there….

A little bit more...

A little bit more…

Precise work is required.

The cannonball tree fits in its hole

The cannonball tree fits in its hole

Naturally, such big trees are not cheap.

All set, four cannonball trees are planted

All set, four cannonball trees are planted

And one already has flowers and soon cannonballs, hopefully.

The flowers of the cannonball tree are intriguing

The flowers of the cannonball tree are intriguing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *