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Schizolobium parahyba


Schizolobium parahyba (Vell.) S.F.Blake

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common Name: Brazilian Fern Tree, Brazilian Fire-Tree, Tower Tree, Mexican Fern Tree, Yellow Jacaranda, Reach for the Sky, Guapuruvu


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m), Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Tiered, Open
Maximum Height 12 m to 35 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 5 m


Native Distribution Tropical America
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Deciduous tree, up to 35m in native rainforests. Typically non-branching and topped by distinctive fern tree-like crown when young. Mature trees assume sparse open crown in Singapore.Large pinnately-compound leaves, up to 1 m in length, said to be the largest compound leaves in plant kingdom, consisting of 15-20 pairs of elliptical leaflets (2-3 cm). Leaves are shed before flowering occurs. Flowers golden yellow, produced in racemes. Fruits flat, tear-drop explosive pods, 8-12 cm long, turn black and crack open when mature to release single oval flattened seed.Juvenile trees popularly used in Singapore for their attractive architectural form. Pioneer species used in reforestation, fast growing, thrives in well-drained soils. Easily grown from cuttings and seeds, though seeds require mechanical or chemical scarification to break dormancy. Wood prone to damage by insects. Mature trees said to be prone to branch breakage, and as a result planted away from roadsides and heavy traffic areas in other countries.Genus epithet 'Schizolobium' comes from Greek verb 'schizo' (divide) and 'lobion' (pod) because inner and outer layers of the pod separate when mature. Species epithet ‘parahyba’ named after the Parahyba River in Brazil.Note: Scientific name sometimes written as Schizolobium parahybum. But specific epithet is a noun (name of a Brazilian River), thus it retains its own gender and termination regardless of the gender of the genus epithet.
Ethnobotanical Uses [Others]: Leaf extract used as antidote to snake venom. Seeds made into buttons and beads in South America.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, General, Coastal

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting
Propagule Establishment Remarks Seeds require mechanical scarification or thermal shock to break dormancy. Seeds can be immersed in boiling water or chemicals such as acid and organic solvent or expose to fire.


Foliage Retention Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Compound (Bipinnate)
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 2.5 (Tree - Open Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Inflorescence Type Raceme
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Black
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1824
Species ID 3117
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.