The Pride of Burma (Amherstia nobilis) is the only member of the genus Amherstia, named after Lady Sarah Amherst. She was an early collector of Asian plants and was honored with the plant’s name after her death. This plant is also called the Queen of flowering trees, which references its incredible blooms. Although suitable only for warm regions, this tree would make a magnificent tropical garden specimen. In southern regions, growing Pride of Burma trees as focal points in the garden lends elegance and statuesque color to the landscape. Learn how to grow a Pride of Burma tree and astound your neighbors with a unique plant that has several seasons of appeal.
What is Amherstia?
Amherstia is a tree that appears to have come from India. This solitary family contains just one medium sized tree that produces unimaginable, scarlet flowers dotted with saffron yellow accents. The intense color of the blooms is only overshadowed by the reddish purple new leaves, large mature leaves with white undersides and 4- to 8-inch (10 to 20 cm.) long pods.
Although named after a prominent collector, Amherstia is more than just a specimen plant. It has a long history of use in Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka and Burma. The plant requires a hot, humid climate for optimum growth. Mature trees may span 30 to 40 feet in height (9 to 12 m.) and 40 feet in width (12 m.).
In its native region, the tree is evergreen, producing large spear-shaped leaves in clusters that dangle languidly from their stems. The effect is much like a cluster of colorful red and green handkerchiefs trailing from the plant. Many regions of Florida are successfully growing Pride of Burma trees as ornamental landscape plants.
Pride of Burma Information
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