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Hooleehootoo
05-02-2006, 07:07 PM
I know it would be easier with a photo, but I don't have the equipment. Let's see how far we can get with just a description.

The tree is growing in the courtyard of a company where I am working in West Los Angeles, CA.

It's about 8 m tall. The bark has smooth places between the rough lines of bark that run along the limbs. The tree has thorns that curve and point backward down the branches.

The leaves are single, heart-shaped, smooth border.

It has seed pods that look like a fat brown string bean. The tip of the pod is a needle-like thorn 3 cm long.

There are little cones of 'flower bulbs'. Out of these cones come red tubular flowers about 10 cm long.

A flock of parakeets comes by and eats at the flowers seeming to eat the part where it joins to the 'flower bulb'.

Mangetout
05-02-2006, 07:11 PM
It sounds like Erythrina Crista-galli - the cockspur coral tree
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythrina_crista-galli

Blake
05-02-2006, 07:29 PM
Mangetout beat me to it.

It's almost certainly some sort of coral tree. After that there are so many species and so many horticultural hybrids and varieties that any further identification becomes almost impossible.

KP
05-02-2006, 07:34 PM
Except for the bark, it sounds to me like a Honey Locust (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_locushttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_locust) (though maybe that would be a good description of the bark of a *young* honey locust) Black locust might be a possibility, too, but I can't envision that species in my mind right now.

Blake
05-02-2006, 07:52 PM
Except for the bark, it sounds to me like a Honey Locust....


I'm not sure what you are calling a honey locust, but the tree that normally goes by that name is Gleditsia triacanthos (http://www.washington.edu/home/treetour/hlocust.html) and it doesn't match the description in any way at all.
Its leaves are neither single nor heart shaped.
The thorns of the honey locust never curve backwards.
Nor are the seed pots fat, or with a spine.
Nor are the flowers red, neither do they occur in cones.

And of course the bark description doesn't match either.

Hooleehootoo
05-03-2006, 12:07 PM
It does not look like either of those.

The leaves of cockspur coral tree are more elongated, have a dihederal, look kind of thick and shiny to me. The leaves of my tree are rounder, more like the valentine heart shape, flat and thin. There are very few of them on the tree. The tube flowers of the coral tree are fatter than the ones I mean. Also , my tubular flowers are all coming out of a cluster. The cluster consists of a little cone of bulbs. The size of the cone is 2cm diameter and 2 cm tall. Many thin red tubes come out of it.

The honey locust has many thin leaves. Plus its thorns are very long. The thorns on this tree are little fish-hook things a few cm long.

Thanks for helping, everyone.

The Chao Goes Mu
05-03-2006, 01:01 PM
I was going to say Eastern Red Bud Tree (http://www.naturehills.com/new/product/productdetails.aspx?proname=Eastern+Redbud) but I don't recall them having any "thorns" but they do have brown pea pod like things and reddish-purple buds.

Skywatcher
05-03-2006, 01:03 PM
Number One: The Larch. The Larch.

Mangetout
05-03-2006, 01:05 PM
I still think we're talking about some species or cultivar of Erythrina; perhaps Erythrina Coralloides (http://images.google.co.uk/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&q=+Erythrina+coralloides&btnG=Search), or one of the others (http://images.google.co.uk/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&q=+Erythrina+americana&btnG=Search).
Backward-pointing spines, bean-like pods, red flowers and your geographical location make it fairly certain we're almost on the right track.

Skywatcher
05-03-2006, 01:05 PM
And Now

Number One: The Larch (http://www.fitfrog.ca/images/Kananaskis%20Larch%20Tree.jpg).

Ludovic
05-03-2006, 01:24 PM
The Larch.

Hooleehootoo
05-04-2006, 12:44 PM
I still think we're talking about some species or cultivar of Erythrina; perhaps Erythrina Coralloides (http://images.google.co.uk/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&q=+Erythrina+coralloides&btnG=Search), or one of the others (http://images.google.co.uk/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&q=+Erythrina+americana&btnG=Search).
Backward-pointing spines, bean-like pods, red flowers and your geographical location make it fairly certain we're almost on the right track.

We have a winner! Thank you Mangetout. I believe it is the Erythrina Coralloides.

Tikki
05-04-2006, 03:39 PM
wow! What an interesting tree. I wish we had those here.