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Bignoniaceae: Bat flower family

This family also known as the trumpet creeper family consists of around 100 genera and 800 species (Carr). The flowers are easy to mistake for Plantaginaceae's (Scrophs). However, most species in this family are large trees. Its considered the bat-flower family because many of the plants have large showy flowers that are pollinated by bats. The African Tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata) from the Ivory Coast of Africa is one species that has started to become invasive in Hawaii. Others include the sausage tree (Kigelia africana), the flame vine (Pyrostegia venusta), Tabebuia donnell-smithii, Jacaranda mimosifollia, and Psuedocalymma alliaceum, the garlic vine.


Systematics: This family is mostly non-herbaceous, whose leaves are compound, opposite and most flowers are very showy. The corolla and calyx are both 5 lobed, and the corolla is often 2-lipped.

Specimens List

Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia sp)

Trumpet trees can be seen along roads in Hawaii and Miami where they are planted for their bright colors.


African Tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata)

These trees adorn the tropics with their bright red flowers.


Sausage Tree (Kigelia africana)

Long sausage-like fruits dangle from thin petioles when this tree is in fruit.


Calbash Tree (Crescentia sp)

This is a cauliflorous plant (flowers on the trunk), which is pollinated by bats. It produces large gourd-like fruits.


Jacaranda

Jacaranda trees are one of the more showy trees in the forest, dropping bright purple flowers on the jungle floor.


 

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