Monday, March 24, 2014

Rainbow Shower Tree

Rainbow shower trees (Cassia x nealiae), native to southern region of Asia, are the beautiful multicolored trees along Bayfront in Downtown Hilo. The rainbow is actually a hybrid between the golden shower (Cassia fistula) and the pink shower (Cassia javanica). There are different varieties, each with a different array of stunning color combinations: orange, pink, white, peach and sherbets.

The tree itself is fast growing, can reach up to 65 feet high and spreads out its branches like an umbrella. It is fairly drought tolerant but grows best in a hot tropical or subtropical climate.  Trees can be propagated by air layering or grafting.

In addition to the trees lining Kamehameha Avenue along Hilo Bay, rainbow shower trees are growing at Liliuokalani Park.  Besides these, a few other types exist in Hilo:

The white shower tree, producing creamy white blossoms with a hint of yellow, can also be found in Downtown Hilo.

The pink shower tree producing large showy pink flower clusters can be found on the Hawaii Community College Campus.

The golden shower tree produces brilliant yellow flowers and can be seen at the Kawamoto Swim Stadium and near Mo’oheau County Park.