Use : Outdoors
Evergreen/Deciduous : Deciduous
Plant Type : Tree
Flower Colour : Yellow
Foliage Colour : Red turning green
Best Season : Summer
Light : Sun
Hardiness : Semi hardy
Height (m) : 12
Spread (m) : 8
Notes : With its beautiful bark decorating the trunk with subtle patterns of white, beige and grey, and its fine acacia-like foliage, the Caesalpinea ferrea or leopard tree from Brazil makes an excellent garden specimen under the right conditions. A fairly fast-growing, upright tree, it develops a flat crown of dark green, oval leaflets which tinge rosy-red as they open. In summer, it bears clusters of bright yellow flowers.
Being a very open shape, it gives only light shade, with the advantage that sun-loving plants and even grass can be grown underneath it. It can be used as a background specimen in a small garden or as an individual form or accent tree in a large garden.
The leopard tree does well in areas which are frost free or only experience light frost and which have a high summer rainfall. It is not suited to dry inland areas or to the winter-rainfall regions.
To be seen at its best, it should be planted in an open, sunny to partially shaded position in fertile, deep soil. Keep it well watered until established.