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Plant Species of the genus Amherstia

Information about this genus
Name: Amherstia
Cultivation: CULTIVATION: Amherstia has been successfully cultivated only in the lowland wet tropics and even there it can be a chancy subject. Growth is fairly slow and it requires a sheltered but sunny situation and deep moist soil. Propagation is ideally from seed but this is very seldom set on cultivated trees. An alternative means is layering of low branches.
Description: The single species of this genus is one of the most striking tropical leguminous trees in flower. Related to the poinciana (Delonix), it originates from the lowlands of southern Myanmar but is now almost unknown in the wild. The renowned Dr Wallich of the Calcutta Botanic Garden named the genus in 1829 for Lady Sarah Amherst, a keen amateur botanist whose husband was Governor-General of India. The tree, which may be briefly deciduous, has long pinnate leaves, the glossy leaflets contracted into fine points. At the start of the tropical wet season there emerge flushes of pale bronzy pink new leaves that hang limply for some weeks before changing through brown to green and straightening out. The flowers hang below the branches on long stalks, opening in a downward succession with a pair of large pink bracts at the base of each flower. The orchid-like flowers are up to 4 in (10 cm) across, pinkish red with darker red and yellow markings. Rarely produced are the curved woody pods that are deep red when immature.

Specie Vernacular Zone
Amherstia nobilis



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