List of superlative trees

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The General Sherman, a California giant sequoia, is the largest tree by volume

The world's superlative trees can be ranked by any factor. Records have been kept for trees with superlative height, trunk diameter or girth, canopy coverage, airspace volume, wood volume, estimated mass, and age.

Tallest[edit]

The coniferous Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is the tallest tree species on earth.

The heights of the tallest trees in the world have been the subject of considerable dispute and much exaggeration. Modern verified measurements with laser rangefinders or with tape drop measurements made by tree climbers (such as those carried out by canopy researchers), have shown that some older tree height measurement methods are often unreliable, sometimes producing exaggerations of 5% to 15% or more above the real height.[1] Historical claims of trees growing to 130 m (430 ft), and even 150 m (490 ft), are now largely disregarded as unreliable, and attributed to human error.

The following are the tallest reliably measured specimens from the top 10 species. This table shows only currently standing specimens:

List of tallest trees by species
Species Height Tree name Class Location Continent References and notes
Meters Feet
Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) 115.92 380.3 Hyperion Conifer Redwood National Park, California, United States Western North America [2][3]
Mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) 100.5 330 Centurion Flowering plant Arve Valley, Tasmania, Australia Southeastern Australia [4][5][6][7]
Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii) 99.7 327 Doerner Fir Conifer Brummit Creek, Coos County, Oregon, United States Western North America [8][9]
Yellow meranti (Shorea faguetiana) 98.53 323.3 Menara Flowering plant Danum Valley Conservation Area, in Sabah on the island of Borneo Southeast Asia The original quoted figure of 100.8m was from the top leaves to the bottom of the buttresses on the low side of ground. The correct height of the tree is 98.53m - that is the midpoint between the top of the bole at 96.26 and the low point of the buttress at 100.8[10][11]
Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) 96.7 317 Raven's Tower Conifer Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California, United States Western North America [12][13]
Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) 95.7 314 Conifer Sequoia National Forest, California, United States Western North America [14][15]
Bhutan Cypress (Cupressus cashmeriana) 94.6 310 Conifer At the road leading to Kathok Yoesel Samtenling Monastery, Kazhi Gewog, Wangdue Phodrang District, Bhutan Central-South Asia This entry needs clarification: The photo provided of the tree in the reference shows a tree that is perhaps 50m tall - definitely not 94m[16][17][better source needed]
Southern blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) 90.7 298 Neeminah Loggerale Meena, or Mother and Daughter. Flowering plant Tasmania Southeastern Australia The crown of this tree is dying back.[18][19]
Manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) 88.9 292 White Knight Flowering plant Evercreech Forest Reserve, Tasmania Southeastern Australia This tree has died, the likely cause being more frequent heatwaves and reduced rainfall.[20][21][22][23]
"Klinki Pine" Araucaria hunsteinii (Araucariaceae) 89.0 292.0 Conifer Montane rainforest. Eastern New Guinea. Note: all the references to this species are historical accounts - there is no living Klinki Pine known at this height.[24][25][26]
Dinizia excelsa 88.5 290 Flowering plant Near the boundary of Amapa and Para states, Brazil. Central-Northeastern South America [27][28]
Messmate or Stringbark (Eucalyptus obliqua) 88.5 290 Princess Picabella Flowering plant West Picton, Tasmania Southeastern Australia [29][30][31]

Tallest historically[edit]

Despite the high heights attained by trees nowadays, records exist of much greater heights in the past, before widespread logging took place. Some, if not most, of these records are without a doubt greatly exaggerated, but some have been reportedly measured with semi-reliable instruments when cut down and on the ground. Some of the heights recorded in this way exceed the maximum possible height of a tree as calculated by theorists,[32] lending some limited credibility to speculation that some superlative trees are able to 'reverse' transpiration streams and absorb water through needles in foggy environments. All three of the tallest tree species continue to be Coast redwoods, Douglas fir and Giant mountain ash

List of tallest trees ever "reliably" recorded
Species Tree height Tree name Location Country References and notes
Meters Feet
Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) 142 466 Nooksack Giant Alpenglow Farm United States [33] Note: Cut down in 1897. Measured using a tape
Mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) 132 433 Ferguson tree Victoria Australia [34][35] Note: Cut down in 1872, and measured on the ground. Reportedly missing part of the top
Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) 126.5 415 Lynn Valley Tree Vancouver Canada [36][37] Note: Cut down in 1902 and measured on the ground
Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) 120 390 Lindsey Creek tree Fieldbrook, California United States [38] Note: Felled by a storm in 1905. Largest known single-stemmed tree to have ever existed
Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) 118.873 390.00 Mineral Tree Mineral, Washington United States [39][33][40] Note: Progressively lost height until falling in a storm. Oldest Douglas fir on record
Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) 115.92 380.3 Hyperion Redwood National Park, California, United States Western North America [2][3]

Largest[edit]

The largest trees are defined as having the highest wood volume in a single stem. These trees are both tall and large in diameter and, in particular, hold a large diameter high up the trunk. Measurement is very complex, particularly if branch volume is to be included as well as the trunk volume, so measurements have only been made for a small number of trees, and generally only for the trunk. Few attempts have ever been made to include root or leaf volume.

All 12 of the world's largest trees are Giant sequoias. Grogan's Fault, the largest living Coast redwood, would rank as the 13th largest living tree. Tāne Mahuta, the largest living tree outside of California, would rank within the top 100 largest living trees.

List of largest living trees by species, ranked by trunk volume
Species Trunk volume Tree name Location Country References and notes
Cubic Meters Cubic Feet
Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) 1,487 52,500 General Sherman Sequoia National Park United States [41]
Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) 1,084.5 38,300 Grogan's Fault Redwood National Park United States [42]
Kauri (Agathis australis) 516 18,200 Tāne Mahuta Waipoua Forest New Zealand The 516 cubic meter figure includes 255m³ for the main trunk and 261m³ for branches [43]
Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) 449 15,900 Cheewhat Giant Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Canada [44][45]: 34 
Eucalyptus regnans 390 14,000 Two Towers Tasmania Australia The 390m³ figure includes 358m³ for trunks and 32m³ for branches.[46][5]
Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) 368 13,000 Rullah Longatyle Tasmania Australia [22] Rullah Longatyle was killed during Tasmanian bushfires in February 2019.[47]
Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) 349 12,300 Red Creek Fir San Juan Valley Canada [48]
Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) 337 11,900 Queets Spruce Olympic National Park United States [45]: 58 
Eucalyptus obliqua 337 11,900 Gothmog Styx Valley Australia The 337m³ figure includes 296m³ for trunks and 41m³ for branches.[46][22]
Eucalyptus delegatensis 286 10,100 Styx Valley Australia This tree was destroyed in the 2019 bushfires.[22]

Stoutest[edit]

The girth of a tree is usually much easier to measure than the height, as it is a simple matter of stretching a tape round the trunk, and pulling it taut to find the circumference. Despite this, UK tree author Alan Mitchell made the following comment about measurements of yew trees:

The aberrations of past measurements of yews are beyond belief. For example, the tree at Tisbury has a well-defined, clean, if irregular bole at least 1.5 m long. It has been found to have a girth that dilated and shrunk in the following way: 11.28 m (1834 Loudon), 9.3 m (1892 Lowe), 10.67 m (1903 Elwes and Henry), 9.0 m (1924 E. Swanton), 9.45 m (1959 Mitchell) ... Earlier measurements have therefore been omitted.

— Alan Mitchell; in a handbook "Conifers in the British Isles".[49]

As a general standard, tree girth is taken at "breast height". This is converted to and cited as dbh (diameter at breast height) in tree and forestry literature.[50][51] Breast height is defined differently in different situations, with most forestry measurements taking girth at 1.3 m above ground,[51] while those who measure ornamental trees usually measure at 1.5 m above ground;[50] in most cases this makes little difference to the measured girth. On sloping ground, the "above ground" reference point is usually taken as the highest point on the ground touching the trunk,[50][51] but in North America a point, that is the average of the highest point and the lowest point the tree trunk appears to contact the soil, is usually used.[52] Some of the inflated old measurements may have been taken at ground level. Some past exaggerated measurements also result from measuring the complete next-to-bark measurement, pushing the tape in and out over every crevice and buttress.[49] The measurements could also be influenced by deviation of the tape measure from a horizontal plane (which might seem called for if the trunk does not grow straight up), and the presence of features such as branches, spikes, etc.

Modern trends are to cite the tree's diameter rather than the circumference. The diameter of the tree is calculated by finding the mean diameter of the trunk, in most cases obtained by dividing the measured circumference by π; this assumes the trunk is mostly circular in cross-section (an oval or irregular cross-section would result in a mean diameter slightly greater than the assumed circle). Accurately measuring circumference or diameter is difficult in species with the large buttresses that are characteristic of many species of rainforest trees. Simple measurement of circumference of such trees can be misleading when the circumference includes much empty space between buttresses. See also Tree girth measurement

Baobabs (genus Adansonia) store large amounts of water in the very soft wood in their trunks. This leads to marked variation in their girth over the year (though not more than about 2.5%[53]), reaching maximum at the end of the rainy season, and minimum at the end of the dry season.

List of stoutest living single-trunk trees by species
Species Diameter Tree name Location Notes and References
Meters Feet
Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum) 11.62 38.1 Árbol del Tule Santa Maria del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico This diameter includes buttressing. A more accurate mean diameter for this tree is 9.38 m (30.8 ft).[54]
Baobab (Adansonia digitata): 10.64 34.9 Sunland Baobab Sunland Farm, Limpopo, South Africa Renowned because a bar and wine cellar operated inside its hollow trunk,[55] until it split in 2017.
White or Strangler Fig (Ficus virens): 9.77 32.1 The Temple Fig Murwillimbah, NSW, Australia [56][57]
Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla): 9.23 30.3 The Bellingen Fig Bellingen, NSW, Australia [58][57]
Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) 8.90 29.2 Jupiter Redwood National Park, California, United States [59][60]
Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) 8.85 29.0 General Grant General Grant Grove, California, United States [61] A hollow, nameless Giant Sequoia along the Paradise Trail of the Atwell Mills Grove in Sequoia National Park, has a basal diameter (not girth) of 57 feet (17 meters).[62]
Za (Adansonia za) 8.85 29.0 The Ampanihy Baobab North of Morombe, southwest Madagascar [63]
Chinese camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora) 8.23 27.0 Kamō no Ōkusu Kamō, Kagoshima, Japan [64][65]
Eucalyptus jacksonii 7.96 26.1 Hollow trunk Walpole, West Australia, Australia [66][67]
Eucalyptus regnans 7.11 23.3 Two Towers Styx Valley, Tasmania, Australia [68][69]
Eucalyptus obliqua 6.72 22.0 Mount Cripps Giant Mount Cripps, Tasmania, Australia [70][71]
Western redcedar (Thuja plicata) 5.94 19.5 Quinault Lake Cedar Olympic National Park, Washington, United States Died of natural causes in June 2016.[44][45]: 181 [72]
Eucalyptus delegatensis 5.82 19.1 Troll Hermons Road, Tasmania, Australia Killed by wildfire, January 2019.[73]
Eucalyptus denticulata 5.41 17.7 Darejo Errinundra National Park, Victoria, Australia [74][75]
Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) 5.39 17.7 Quinault Lake Spruce Olympic National Park, Washington, United States [76]
Kauri (Agathis australis) 5.33 17.5 Te Matua Ngahere Waipoua Forest, New Zealand [77]
Eucalyptus camaldulensis 4.85 15.9 Herbig Family Tree. Springton, South Australia. [57][78] This is a very ancient tree. The 'Gnarly Tree' in Colignan NW Victoria also has diameter of 4.85m

Measurements become ambiguous when multiple trunks (whether from an individual tree or multiple trees) grow together. The Sacred Fig grows adventitious roots from its branches, which become new trunks when the root reaches the ground and thickens; a single sacred fig tree can have hundreds of such trunks.[79] The multi-stemmed Hundred Horse Chestnut was known to have a circumference of 57.9 m (190 ft) when it was measured in 1780.

There are known more than 50 species of trees exceeding the diameter of 4.45 m or circumference of 14 m.[citation needed]

Broadest[edit]

The trees with the broadest crowns have the widest spread of limbs from a single trunk.

List of trees with the broadest crowns, by species
Species Diameter Tree name Location Notes and References
Meters Feet
Banyan (Ficus benghalensis) 180 591 Thimmamma Marrimanu Anantapur, Kadiri, Andhra Pradesh, India [80][81][82] This crown is not from a single trunk. It has hundreds of trunks.
Coolibah (Eucalyptus microtheca) 72.8 239 Monkira Monster Neuragully Waterhole, southwestern Queensland, Australia [83][84]
Oriental plane (Platanus orientalis) 64.0 210 Oriental Plane Tree at Corsham Court Wiltshire, England. [85]
Raintree or monkeypod tree (Samanea saman) 63.1 207 Saman de Guere San Mateo, Aragua State, Venezuela. Living, but "vetusto" (superannuated, or decrepit). [86] The widest Monkeypod Tree at present is "Chamchuri" on a military post near Kanchanburi, Thailand, which is 198' 1" (60.4 meters) in spread while only 57' 8" (17.6 meters) in height.[87] Broadest cantilevered crown (no limbs resting on the ground).
Silk-cotton tree (Ceiba pentandra) 61.3 201 The Big Tree Barro Colorado Island, Panama [88]
European yew (Taxus baccata) 55.5 182 Shugborough Yew Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire, England [89][90] Broadest gymnosperm.
Sand post oak (Quercus stellata margarettae) 55.2 181 Gilchrist County, Florida [91]
Turkey oak (Quercus cerris): 53.9 177 Devon, England. [85]
Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla) 53.6 176 Moreton Bay Fig Tree Chapala Street in Santa Barbara, California. [92] Moreton Bay Figs growing under virgin rainforest conditions have been reported to have crown spreads as great as 75 m (250 ft).[93]
Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) 53.6 176 Middlesboro, Kentucky [94]
Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) 53.6 176 The Pechanga Great Oak Pechanga Native American Reservation east of Temecula, California. [95][96] Also 29 m (95 ft) tall.
Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum) 53.3 175 El Gigante Santa Maria del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico [97] Broadest cantilevered Gymnosperm.
Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis) 51.8 170 Benaroon John's River in Middle Brother National Park, New South Wales, Australia. [98]
Live oak (Quercus virginiana) 51.8 170 The E. O. Hunt Oak Long Beach, Mississippi [99]
American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) 51.5 169 The Lansdowne Sycamore Lansdowne, Pennsylvania [100]
African Baobab (Adansonia digitata) 51.2 168 The Glencoe Tree Huidespruit, Limpopo Province, South Africa. Now severely damaged[101]
Batai (Albizzia falcata) 50.9 167 Hawai'i [102][103]

Oldest[edit]

Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) is the longest living tree species on Earth.

The oldest trees are determined by growth rings, which can be seen if the tree is cut down, or in cores taken from the bark to the center of the tree. Accurate determination is only possible for trees that produce growth rings, generally those in seasonal climates. Trees in uniform non-seasonal tropical climates grow continuously and do not have distinct growth rings. It is also only possible for trees that are solid to the center. Many very old trees become hollow as the dead heartwood decays. For some of these species, age estimates have been made on the basis of extrapolating current growth rates, but the results are usually largely speculation. White (1998)[104] proposes a method of estimating the age of large and veteran trees in the United Kingdom through the correlation of a tree's age with its diameter and growth character.

The verified oldest measured ages are:

List of oldest non-clonal trees by species
Species Age (years) Tree name Location Notes and References
Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) 4,854 Methuselah Inyo County, California, United States [105]
Alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides) 3,651 Gran Abuelo Cordillera Pelada, Chile [106]
Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) 3,266 Sierra Nevada, California, USA Dead[105]
Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) 2,675 Sierra Nevada, California, USA Dead[105]
Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) 2,647 North Carolina, USA [105][107]
Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata) 2,465 central Colorado, USA [105][108]
African Baobab (Adansonia digitata) 2,419 Matabeleland, Zimbabwe [109]
Sacred fig (Ficus religiosa) 2,302 Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka [105]
Przewalski's juniper (Juniperus przewalskii) 2,230 Delingha, Qinghai Province, China [105]
Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) 2,200 northern California, USA Dead[105]
Saharan Cypress (Cupressus dupreziana) 2,200 Wadi Tichouinet, southern Algeria. [110]
Foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana) 2,110 Sierra Nevada, California, USA [105]

Other species suspected of reaching exceptional age include European Yew (Taxus baccata) (probably over 2,000 years[111][112]), Sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) (3,000 years or more[113]), and Western Redcedar (Thuja plicata). The oldest known European Yew may be the Llangernyw Yew in the Churchyard of Llangernyw village in North Wales, or the Fortingall Yew in Perthshire, Scotland. These yews may be from 1,500 to 3,000 years old.[114]

Lagarostrobos franklinii, known as Huon pine, is native to the wet southwestern corner of Tasmania, Australia. A stand of trees in excess of 10,500 years old was found in 1955 in western Tasmania on Mount Read.[115] Each of the trees in this stand is a genetically identical male that has reproduced vegetatively. Although no single tree in this stand is of that age, the stand itself as a single organism has existed that long.[116] Individual trees in the clonal patch have been listed as having ages of 2000[117][118] or even to 3000[119][120] years old.

The olive tree also can live for centuries. The oldest verified age is 900 years[121] at Gethsemane (Mount of Olives, as mentioned in the Bible), while several other olive trees are suspected of being 2,000 to 3,000 years old.[122]

The pond cypress, Taxodium ascendens, has been known to live more than 1,000 years. One specimen in particular, named "The Senator", was estimated to be more than 3,400 years old at the time of its demise in early 2012.

Deepest and longest tree roots[edit]

A wild fig tree growing in Echo Caves near Ohrigstad, South Africa has roots going 120 m (400 ft) deep, giving it the deepest roots known of any tree.[123] El Drago Milenario, a tree of species Dracaena draco on Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, is reported to have 200-meter-long (660 ft) aerial roots.[124]

Thickest tree limbs[edit]

This list is limited to horizontal or nearly horizontal limbs, in which the governing growth factor is phototropism. Vertical or near vertical limbs, in which the governing growth factor is negative geotropism, are called "reiterations" and are really divisions of the trunk, which by definition must be less than the trunk as a whole and therefore less remarkable. The thickest trunks have already been dealt with under "stoutest".[clarification needed]

List of thickest tree limbs by species
Species Diameter Tree name Location Notes and References
Meters Feet
Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) 3.8 12.6 The Big Limb Tree Atwell Mill Grove, Sequoia National Park, California. [125]
Za (Adansonia za) 2.7 9 The Ampanihy Baobab north of Morombe, Madagascar. [63] Thickest Dicot limb.
African baobab (Adansonia digitata) 2.4 8 The Big Tree Messina Nature Reserve, Limpopo Province, South Africa. [126][127]
Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) 2.1 7 Kronos Atlas Grove, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. [128]
Kauri (Agathis australis) 2.1 7 Nga Mahangahua Tutamoe State Forest, North Island, New Zealand [129]
White oak (Quercus alba) 1.8 6 The Wye Oak Wye Mills, Maryland Died June 6, 2002[130]
Kapok or Silk Cotton Tree (Ceiba pentandra) 1.8 6 General statement. No individual cited. [131]
Canary Island Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco) 1.75 5.75 The Orotava Tree Orotava, Tenerife, Canary Islands Died October 1869[132] Thickest Monocot limb.
Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) 1.7 5.5 Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia [133][134]
Silver Fir (Abies alba) 1.7 5.5 Sabin Candelabre Jura Alps of France, near the Swiss border. [135][136]
Rain Tree (Samanea saman) 1.5 4.9 The Caribbean region. This one near Nagarote, Nicaragua. [137] Measured by Dr. Berthold Seemann.
California Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) 1.5 4.9 Six kilometers (four miles) west of Gilroy, California. [138]

Thickest tree bark[edit]

List of trees by thickest bark
Species Native range Greatest thickness or depth Comments
Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The greatest thickness which has been reliably measured is 75 cm (2+12 ft) for one in Redwood Canyon, Kings Canyon National Park.[139] However it is asserted that the basal bark of the "General Sherman" Big Tree is in places up to 1.2 m (4 ft) in thickness.[140] This could be determined non-invasively with sonograph equipment.
Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) Coastal Northern and Central California and extreme southern Oregon. The "Mill Creek Giant" near the Mill Creek bridge in Redwood National Park, Crescent City, California has bark 46 cm (18 in) thick.[141] Coast Redwood bark is often deeply fissured, making it easy to measure most of the depth of the bark even on live trees.
Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) Northwestern North America. A tree felled in North Vancouver, British Columbia in 1902 had bark 34 cm (13+12 in) in thickness.[142]
Cork Oak (Quercus suber) circum-Mediterranean distribution. One Cork Oak at the chapel of São Gonçalo 16 km (10 mi) south of Lisbon, Portugal had cork measuring 20 cm (8 in) deep.[143] This is the thickest bark amongst Dicots. One Cork Oak at the Mission-Basilica San Carlos de Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California had bark in 1971 with fissures 18 cm (7 in) in depth plus an unknown depth of unfissured bark beneath. In 1996 the bark had grown about an additional 25 mm (1 in).
Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana) Chile and Argentina. Bark up to seven inches (18 centimeters) in thickness.[144][145]
Bangalay (Eucalyptus botryoides) Victoria and New South Wales, Australia. In 1973, one Bangalay in Alameda Park, Santa Barbara, California had bark fissured to a depth of 18 cm (7 in) with again an unknown depth of unfissured bark below that.
Parana Pine (Araucaria angustifolia) Mostly in southernmost Brazil. Bark can be over 15 cm (6 in) thick.[146]
Renala (Adansonia grandidieri) Madagascar. Bark is up to 15 cm (6 in) thick.[147] This is the species with the colossal columnar trunks.
Valley Oak (Quercus lobata) Central Valley of California southward to the San Gabriel Valley. This bark also up to 15 cm (6 in) in thickness.[148]
Plains Cottonwood (Populus deltoides monilifera) North American Plains. "Almost six inches (15 centimeters) thick"[149]
Nolina longifolia Mexico One plant at the Huntington Library, Galleries and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California in 1996 had bark with fissures up to 4+34 in (120 mm) deep. This is the thickest bark amongst Monocots.

Trees bearing the largest flowers[edit]

List of trees by largest flowers
Species Native range Largest of kind Comments
Guyana Chestnut, or Provision Tree (Pachira aquatica) Central America, northern South America and the West Indies. Up to 66 cm (26 in) if the 33 cm (13 in) pale yellow petals are held outright.[150] The stamens are united into a column in the lower third, divided into five sub-groups in the middle third, and into several hundred individual stamens in the upper third. According to Perry and Greenwood, P. aquatica petals can reach 14 inches (35 centimeters) in length.[151][152]
Cacao Sauvage (Pachira insigna) Along brackish estuaries of South America and the Lesser Antilles. Its 33–36 cm (13–14 in) pink petals are 66–71 cm (26–28 in) wide if held horizontally.[153][154] The stamens of P. insigna, arranged in the same manner as P. aquatica, can number as many as one thousand.[155] This is a much taller tree than P. aquatica, up to 30 m (100 ft) in height.
Big Leaf Magnolia, or Big Bloom (Magnolia macrophylla) The deep southern United States, especially Alabama and Mississippi, but excluding Florida. The largest on record was 55 cm (21+12 in) in width,[156] while another found and photographed by Adele Sayle was 51 cm (20 in) wide.[157] Magnolia macrophylla has the largest flowers of any temperate (non-tropical) plant. This, like all Magnolias, is pollinated by flower beetles.
Giant White Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia versicolor) Northern Guayaquil River Basin of Ecuador. Pendant white or cream trumpet-like flowers up to 51 cm (20 in) long and up to 20 cm (8 in) wide at the mouth.[158][159] At 5 m (16 ft) height, this is the smallest tree in this table. The pollinator is unknown,[160] but would seem to require a very long tongue or beak. The horticultural variety "Supernova" can be up to 24 in (61 cm) in length. B. versicolor is now believed to be extinct in the wild, but fortunately is widely cultivated.
Magnolia dealbata The humid regions of Mexico. Up to 41 cm (16 in) in diameter.[161] Considered by some taxonomists to be a subspecies of M. macrophylla. One credible source states that M. dealbata can have flowers up to 50 cm (19+12 in) in width.[162]
Mandacaru (Cereus jamacaru) The Caatinga region of N.E.ern Brazil. Also naturalized to South Africa. Up to 30 cm (12 in) long by up to 20 cm (8 in) wide.[163] [164] One of the largest tree-cacti at up to 18 m (59 ft) in height, 10 m (33 ft) crown spread and up to 102 cm (40 in) trunk thickness.[163] It can bear spines up to 19 cm (7+12 in) long.[citation needed] By reason of its succulence, these may be the most massive (heaviest) of all tree flowers.[citation needed]
(Phenakospermum guianense) Amazon Rainforest. Each cicinnus contains up to 25 individual flowers, each up to eleven inches (28 centimeters) in length.[165]
Calabash Nutmeg (Monodora myristica) Native to tropical Africa. Ornate, multicolor flower up to 25 cm (10 in) in width.[166] The name comes from the 15 cm (6 in) calabash-like fruit filled with fragrant seeds.
Ceiba schottii (Bombacaceae) Southern Mexico and Guatemala Up to 10.5 in (26 cm) wide by 7.5 in (19 cm) long.[167]
Gigasiphon humboldtianum (Caesalpinaceae) Madagascar, with very similar G. macrosiphon in coastal Kenya and Tanzania. Up to ten inches (25 centimeters) in length the hypantheum or floral tube surrounding the pistel-stipe or gynophore; the longest of any plant.[168] The five petals( upper one yellow, others white) are each five inches (13 centimeters) long and 2.5 inches (6.5 centimeters) wide.[169] for a total width of ten inches (25 centimeters| Many botanists consider G. humboldtianum and G. macrosiphon to be conspecific.
The Za or Boji (Adansonia za) [Bombacaceae] Widespread in Madagascar. Five mostly yellow petals, each up to 9.5 inches (24 centimeters) long by 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) wide, and reflexed.[170] Flower 9 to 10 inches (23 to 25 cm) wide with long stamens bringing the length to nine inches (23 centimeters). Largest of the Baobab flowers.
Hibiscus waimeae [Malvaceae] Endemic to the island of Kawai, in Hawai'i. Each of the five white petals is up to 5.5 inches (thirteen cm) in length for a potential diameter of eleven inches (26 centimeters) The central staminal column is up to six inches (fifteen cm) in length.[171]
Spotted Randia (Rothmannia longiflora) (Rubiaceae). Native to tropical Africa. Has trumpet-shaped Purple and white flowers up to ten inches (25 cm) long [172] by about five inches (12 cm) across the mouth.[173]
The Elephant Apple (Dillenia indica) [Dilleniaceae] Native to India, Burma, Southeast Asia and the East Indies. The 20 cm (8 in) wide flower consists of five large 50–65 mm (2–2+12 in) roundish, fleshy white petals, two concentric circles of several hundred stamens surrounding a circle of up to twenty stigmas.[174][175] Forms a fruit up to 18 cm (7 in) in diameter.[176] A second species, D. megalantha of the Philippines, also produces 8 inch (20 centimeter) wide flowers.[177]

Largest leaves (by type)[edit]

Type Species Native range Length Width Comments
Largest overall leaf; Largest Monocot leaf; Largest pinnate leaf. Raphia regalis West Africa from Nigeria to Angola. This individual in Congo (Brazzaville). 26 m (85 ft) overall. The lamina, or blade, is 16 m (54 ft) and the petiole, or stalk is 9.4 m (31 ft)[178] About 3 m (10 ft) wide. Trunk often very short, even subterranean.
Largest bipinnate leaf. Caryota kiriwongensis Peninsular Thailand. 11.0 m (36 ft 1 in) overall. Lamina length 8.0 m (26 ft 3 in). Petiole is only 51 cm (20 in) joined to crownshaft sheath 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) long.[179] 7.0 m (23 ft) in width. This species was unknown to science prior to 1980. Has up to 2,500 fan-shaped leaflets. Up to 35 m (120 ft) in height.
Largest costapalmate leaf. (Petiole extends into the palmately veined lamina as a rachis). "Coco-de-Mer", or "Double Coconut". Lodoicea maldivica. Seychelles Islands, about 1,300 km (800 mi) northeast of Madagascar. Up to 15 m (50 ft) overall. Acaulescent juveniles have the longest leaves, with a lamina up to 6 m (20 ft) joined to a petiole 9 m (30 ft) with no overlap.[180][181] Lamina up to 4.6 m (15 ft) wide. One reliable source says the petiole can be 10 m (33 ft) long for a total length of 16 m (52 ft).[182]
Largest true palmate leaf (rachis very small, or nonexistent, and all the veins radiate from a single point). "Dondah" Corypha macropoda Endemic to Termoklee Island near South Andaman in the Andaman Islands south of Burma. Approximately 11 m (35 ft). Lamina 6 m (20 ft) long partly overlaps the 7.5 m (25 ft) petiole.[183] Lamina up to 6 m (20 ft) wide. Usually considered to be a subspecies of C. elata. Termoklee does not seem to have been revisited by naturalists any time recently.
Largest simple (undivided) tree leaf. "Monkey-Cap Palm" Manicaria saccifera Neotropical flood forests. Up to 10.4 m (34 ft) all told. Lamina is 9.1 m (30 ft) plus a 1.2 m (4 ft) petiole.[184] Maximum width 2.3 m (7 ft 8 in).[185] Obovate with pinnate veination. Toothed margin 15 cm (6 in) deep.
Largest treefern leaf; Largest non-palm. "Mule's Foot Fern", or "Paku Gajah". Angiopteris evecta Southern Asia, East Indies, Melanesia, Polynesia, Queensland and Madagascar. 9 m (30 ft) overall. 7 m (23 ft) lamina plus 2 m (6+12 ft) petiole which can be up to 10 cm (4 in) thick.[186][187] 2 m (6+12 ft) width. Bipinnate, Trunk can be up to 3 m (10 ft) in height.
Largest quadripinnate leaf. (Leaflets are the fourth order of branching). "Black Treefern", or "Mamaku". Cyathea medullaris New Zealand, Fiji and Polynesia. 7 m (23 ft) overall. 6 m (20 ft) lamina with a 1 m (40 in) petiole.[188] 2 m (6+12 ft) width.
Largest Gymnosperm leaf. "Kwango Giant Cycad", or "Malele" (Encephalartos laurentianus) Endemic to the Kwango River Basin, Bandundu Province, Congo (Kinshasa) and edging into adjacent Angola. Overall length 7 m (23 ft) and massively constructed. Lamina 6.7 m (22 ft) plus a 30 cm (1 ft) petiole which is up to 8 cm (3 in) thick.[189][190][191] 89 cm (35 in).[189] This is the largest of all known cycads, multistemmed specimens sometimes exceeding 45 tonnes (50 short tons) in total weight.
Largest indeterminate leaf (never stops growing). "Tumbo". Welwitschia mirabilis Coastal Namibia and southwestern Angola. Living portion up to 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in) long, usually with up to around one meter of dead leaf still attached. No petiole. New leaf tissue emerges from a lip-like groove around the top of the trunk.[192][193] Other, much narrower green segments have been up to 7.3 m (24 ft) in length.[194] Segments have been measured up to 179 cm (5 ft 10 in) in width. In the course of a 2000+ year life, its cumulative growth can be over 180 m (600 ft). It is considered a tree because the trunk, although always under 3 meters (10 ft) in height, is very thick and woody.
Largest Dicot tree leaf. "Midnight Horror" Oroxylum indicum East Indies, Southeast Asia, India and Sri Lanka. Up to 4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) total length. Lamina up to 240 cm (7 ft 10 in)[195] plus a petiole up to 2 m (6+12 ft) in length.[196] Lamina up to 2.1 m (7 ft) in width.[197] Quadripinnate. Makes huge sword-like seed pods up to 1.5 m (5 ft) long by 10 cm (4 in) wide.
Largest linear leaf. (Ribbon-like leaves with parallel veins running lengthwise. No petiole). Pandanus laxespicatus Endemic to swamps near Perinet (Analamazaotra), Madagascar. Up to 10 m (33 ft) on juvenile plants.[198] Up to 36 cm (14 in) in width. This species was unknown to science prior to 1951.[199] Adult plants have smaller leaves, and the side branches have very much smaller leaves.[200]
Largest entire (undivided, unlobed, untoothed) tree leaf. Traveler's Tree Ravenala madagascarensis subspecies bemavo Hills of eastern Madagascar. Total length up to 11 m (36 ft). Petiole up to 6 m (20 ft) bearing a lamina up to 5 m (16 ft) long.[201] Up to 1.5 m (5 ft) in width. This is the tallest (up to 100 feet (30 meters)) of the five subspecies and the only single-trunked (up to two feet (61 centimeters) in diameter) form.
Greatest surface area of any dicot leaf. Largest entire dicot leaf. "Maior Folha" Coccoloba gigantifolia Amazon rainforest. Thus far only in Brazil and mostly in Rondonia. Up to 2.50 m (8 ft 2 in) plus a petiole of about 10 cm (4 in).[202][203] The tree is a single rosette of leaves atop a 13 m (43 ft) rarely branching trunk.[204][citation needed] Up to 1.44 m (4 ft 8+12 in) in width.[203] First observed by botanists in 1982.[205] The name "Coccoloba inpae" was proposed at first, but that is now a junior synonym.
Largest palmately divided leaf (all leaflets attached at one point to the petiole tip). Longispadix sp. nov. Endemic to Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea. 24 or more wedge-shaped leaflets forming a circle about 2.5 m (8 ft) in diameter, on a petiole of comparable length.[206] This Longispadix species discovered in 2009. Cola megalophylla (Sterculiaceae) of the West African rainforest has seven palmate leaflets which form a circle about 1.2 m (4 ft) in diameter, with its largest (central) leaflet measuring up to 86 cm (34 in) in length and 51 cm (20 in) in width,[207] making it the largest of all Dicot leaflets, and exceeded only by the leaflets of two palm species.
Largest peltate leaf. (Petiole is attached at or near the center of the lamina, as in the Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) and the Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)). "Chia Kubit" Macaranga gigantea Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, Java and Celebes. Lamina up to 1.5 m (5 ft) long with a petiole of similar length attached to the upper central region.[208] Also up to 1.5 m (5 ft) in width. Also largest tricuspidate leaf (like the undivided leaves of Boston Ivy).
Largest naturally inverse leaf. Chisocheton lasiocarpus (Meliaceae) Rainforests of western New Guinea. Each of the few mesocaul branches is topped by a terminal rosette of leaves up to five feet (1.5 meters) in length with up to eleven pairs leaflets, each up to 18 inches (45 centimeters) long by nine inches (23 centimeters) in width.[209] The lower limbs are of a weeping habit, so that the rosettes face towards the earth.[210] Up to 36 inches (91 centimeters) in width.
.
Largest succulent tree leaf. "Berg-Aalwyn" Aloe marlothii South Africa. 1.8 m (6 ft) long.[211] 30 cm (12 in) wide. About 4 cm (1+12 in) thick. The tree can be up to 6 m (20 ft) in height.[212]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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