Golden Shower – Cassia fistula

Some of Florida’s best summer flowering trees are starting to bloom. These Golden Shower trees are about halfway to full bloom. Everytime my husband hears the tree name he snickers, but who wouldn’t? The sausage like fruits are enough to make me laugh without hearing the name. Some of these tropical trees have peculiar fruit that tends to hang around and be fairly unattractive. The leaves on the tree fell off for the most part and the fruit turned brown. Here is the fruit last fall.

Golden Shower Fruit

Golden Shower Fruit

Here is the tree halfway into full bloom:

Golden Shower Tree

Golden Shower Tree

The leaves are filling back in on the tree and it will be fully green through the summer and then produce another set of fruit. I am thinking at some point someone has to pick up a lot of this fruit. But I really haven’t noticed it as they have a good maintenance crew and it is not in my yard.

The first one of these trees I encountered was planted alternating with Rainbow Shower trees as a streetscape planting in Maui, quite festive and tropical. The Rainbow Shower trees flower has a literal rainbow of color on it. Quite something to see and a bit overwhelming. It took me awhile to figure out what the trees were. My first thought was “it’s a Laburnum”, nooo, not in Hawaii. One of its common names is Indian Laburnum and Pudding Pipe Tree is another. Apparently this tree has a few medicinal uses, treating constipation, skin infections, and people in India smoke it – for what reason I am not sure.

Native to Southeast Asia, the Golden Shower is planted as a street tree in tropical climates the world over. I am glad we have a few in front of our library.