Colvillea racemosa is a deciduous tree with an open, elongate crown and irregularly spreading or pendulous branches. It usually grows up to 20 metres tall but occasional specimens can be up to 30 metres. The bole is usually straight and cylindrical, but sometimes slightly sinuous. It can be up to 100cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use of its wood. It is suitable for reforestation projects and is often planted as an ornamental because of its bright orange flowers and delicate foliage[
The plant is locally common, but its natural habitat of deciduous woodland is strongly fragmented[
]. It is classified as 'Near Threatened' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
Africa - western Madagascar.
Woodland and seasonally dry forest, on sandy soils, at elevations up to 300 metres[
|Conservation Status||Near Threatened
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the drier lowland tropics and subtropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 300 metres. It grows wild in areas where the mean annual rainfall is up to 700mm, occasionally to 1,200mm, with 7 - 9 dry months; and the mean annual temperature is between 24.5 - 27°c[
]. Plants can tolerate light frosts.
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant.
Young trees grow fairly rapidly. A mean annual bole diameter increment of 7 - 14mm has been reached during the first 10 years after planting[
The tree has good colonizing potential, and reforestation can be achieved by direct sowing. As such, it seems to have good potential for reforestation in regions with seasonally dry forest in Madagascar[
The wood is yellowish white to greyish yellow. The grain is straight, texture coarse. The wood is soft and moderately light in weight. The veneering properties are satisfactory. The wood is not durable, but fairly easy to impregnate with preservatives. The wood is used for posts, carpentry, shuttering, fences and veneer. It is suitable for light joinery, interior trim, furniture, boxes and crates. The boles are used to make dug-out canoes[
Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and, unless sown when fresh and still moist, may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. When seedlings are raised in the nursery, they can be planted into the field after 6 - 12 months when they are 50 - 100cm tall[
]. When transplanting, clipping the lateral roots is advised. Direct sowing into the field is also practised[
The fruits are collected from the tree or the ground when they have become dry and blackish. The seeds are extracted manually and non-viable seeds are separated by floating in water. Viable seeds are dried in the sun. The seeds can be stored for up to 4 years and still achieve a germination rate of 50 - 70%[
Propagation by cuttings has been successful.
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.