A real novelty this one - also known as the Upside-Down Tree! Has thick, stubby branches which spring from the top of its swollen, water-storing trunk and large palmate leaves.
Reputed to be one of the world's largest trees whose trunk can reach 40ft in circumference. Needless to say, it will not reach such proportions in this country, but it does make a great novelty houseplant and is well suited to Bonsai.
Tender Tree (min 13C)
Position: Sunny with sharply-drained compost.
Packet of 5 seeds
Seeds can be sown at any time of year.
Pre-Sowing Treatment: Soak seeds for 48 hours.
Sowing Instructions: Sow individually at a depth of about 6mm in pots of moist, peat-based seed compost, eg. Levington mixed with sharp sand or grit. Seal in a polythene bag or place in a propagator and maintain an optimum temperature of 21-27C. Germination can be slow and erratic and can take from 3 weeks up to a year. Check regularly to ensure the compost remains moist and a good level of humidity is maintained.
Growing Instructions: When the seedlings emerge, gradually increase ventilation by opening the bag or propagator vents. Grow on in cooler conditions and re-pot as necessary. Once established, likes a sunny position and a minimum temperature of 13C. The little trees will still lose their leaves in the autumn despite being indoors and go dormant until early spring. Water sparingly during dormancy.