Colvillea Racemosa is part of the Fabaceae family. Known for its unique inflorescence, the plant is native to Madagascar. The plant is named after Sir Charles Colville, a former governor of Mauritius. Racemosa refers to the arrangement of flowers in a raceme i.e. a cluster like that of grapes.
It has been classified as "Near Threatened" in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is, therefore, a rare plant.
Caring for Colville is quite easy. You only need to make sure that the plant receives abundant sunlight and is watered consistently.
The plant can be grown in full sun to partial shade. It performs the best when it receives abundant amount of sunlight.
It has spectacular, pea-shaped, bright orange to burnt orange blooms that grow in cylindrical or conical clusters and lead to brownish fruits. Flowering and fruiting season is September- October.
The plant also has small deep green leaves like those of Poinciana. The foliage provides a perfect backdrop for the flowers to shine.
The plant requires consistent watering. An evenly moist soil at all times is preferable so don't let the soil dry out completely in between waterings. However slouchy soil is not good for the plant's health so don't over-water the plant. You can let a few inches of the soil dry out before watering.
Sandy-loamy, rich, well-drained soil is preferable. The pH of the soil should be neutral or slightly acidic. A layer of mulch on the soil would help retain moisture as well as maintain warmth as the tree prefers warmer temperatures.
The plants sport a broad columnar canopy and can reach up to a height of 8m to 15m.
The plant does not require fertilizing as such but fertilizing might lead to better blooms. Over the years the soil loses its nutrient content and fertilizing might help replenish that. Make sure the water the plant before fertilizing. A slow-release balanced fertilizer could be used.
The plant does not have any major pests or diseases.
The plant is attractive to bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. It is a perfect tree for avenue planting and for parks. The wood is used for carpentry, posts, fences, shuttering, and veneer.