How Golden Shower Trees Blooms and caters the people white and yellow flowers in Trece Martires City, Philippines. 

By Antonio Papa, Ph. D.

Indang, Cavite – Beginning the first week of May every year, anyone who happens to visit this town whose entry point is Trece Martires City will be greeted with a fascinating sight as they pass the first barangay on the way to Indang: Barangay Mataas na Lupa.

At this time of year, one sees how the highway of about two kilometers is lined on either side with blooming Cassia fistula or what is known as “golden shower” trees. Replete with
beautiful yellow flowers that hang from the trees’ branches, the trunks of the golden shower trees have also been painted a whimsical white and yellow by barangay officials. The gorgeous trees can also be found beside the Science High School of the Cavite State University (CvSU) in Indang, Cavite.

The golden shower tree is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae. The species is native to the Indian subcontinent and adjacent regions of Southeast Asia, and it ranges from southern
Pakistan eastward throughout India to Myanmar and Thailand and south to Sri Lanka. In literature, it is closely associated with the Mullai or forest region of Sangam landscape.

It is the national tree of Thailand, and its flower is Thailand’s national flower. It is also the state flower of Kerala in India and of immense importance among the country’s Malayali population. This popular ornamental plant is also used in herbal medicine.

 

The golden shower tree is a medium-sized tree, growing fast to 10-20 meters or m (33-66 feet). The tree has strong and very durable wood; in fact, its heartwood has been used to construct “Ahala Kanuwa”, a place at Adams Peak, Sri Lanka.

The leaves are deciduous, 15-60 centimeters or cm (5.9-23.6 inches or in) long, and pinnate with three to eight pairs of leaflets, with each leaflet measuring 7-21 cm (2.8-8.3 in) long
and with a breadth of 4-9 cm (1.6-3.5 in). The flowers are produced in pendulous racemes 20-40 cm (7.9-15.7 in) long; each flower is 4-7 cm (1.6-2.8 in) in diameter with five yellow petals of equal size and shape. The fruit is a legume, 30–60 cm (12–24 in) long and 1.5–2.5 centimeters (0.59–0.98 in) broad, with a pungent odor and containing several seeds.

Cassia fistula is widely grown as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical areas. It blooms in late spring. Flowering is profuse, with trees being covered with yellow
flowers, often to the point that practically no leaves can be seen. It will grow well in dry climates. Growth for this tree is best in full sun on well-drained soil; it is relatively drought
tolerant and slightly salt tolerant. It will tolerate a light brief frost, but can get damaged if the cold persists. It can be subject to mildew or leaf spot, especially during the second half of the growing season. The tree will bloom better where there is a pronounced difference between summer and winter temperatures.

According to Wikipedia, as a medicinal tree, Cassia fistula or the golden shower tree is known as “disease killer.” The fruit pulp is considered a purgative (though self-medication or
any use without medical supervision is not advised). Though its use in herbalism has been attested to for millennia, little research has been conducted in modern times.

Meanwhile, this summer, if your family is searching for a cooler place for an outing, explore over a dozen spring water resorts in Indang, Cavite. The adjacent riverbanks are blessed with canopies of fruit and forest tress that, aside from the very cool water, made the place more cooler. On the outskirts of the town, there is Queen Anne’s Resort in Bgy. Buna Cerca, and Saluysoy Resort, which has a fresh underground source of water, at the Cavite State University.

The author holds a Ph.D. and is a professor at the Cavite State University. For more information about visiting the flame trees in bloom, contact Marianito Nuestro, municipal tourism officer at telephone number (046) 460.5832.

This story appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s June 2015 issue.