Handroanthus chrysanthus

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Handroanthus chrysanthus
Araguaney.jpg
Flowering Handroanthus chrysanthus in a street of Caracas.
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Bignoniaceae
Genus: Handroanthus
Species:
H. chrysanthus
Binomial name
Handroanthus chrysanthus
(Jacq.) S.O.Grose
Synonyms
  • Bignonia chrysantha
  • Tabebuia chrysantha
  • Tecoma chrysantha
Handroanthus chrysotrichus a similar species in Brazil.

Handroanthus chrysanthus (araguaney or yellow ipê), formerly classified as Tabebuia chrysantha, also known as araguaney in Venezuela, as guayacán in Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador, as tajibo in Bolivia, and as ipê-amarelo in Brazil, is a native tree of the intertropical broadleaf deciduous forests of South America above the Tropic of Capricorn. On May 29, 1948, Handroanthus chrysanthus was declared the National Tree of Venezuela due to its status as an emblematic native species of extraordinary beauty. Its deep yellow resembles that of the Venezuelan flag.

Designation[edit]

Chrysantha is derived from two Greek words, χρῡσ-ός gold + ἄνθεµον flower. Araguaney appears to derive from "aravenei", the ancient word by which the Kalina people (Caribs) designated this tree.[citation needed]

Habitat[edit]

The araguaney is found in clearings of deciduous tropical forests of the broad Guiana Shield region.[1] It is also native to warm lands and sabanas (Vía Oriente to El Guapo, Cupira, and Uchire Sabana) and even some arid hills (Mampote, Guarenas, Guatire y Caucagua). Its habitat ranges 400 to 1700m above sea level.

Description[edit]

It is a rustic deciduous tree that defies hard, dry or poor soils. Therefore, its roots require well drained terrain. Its height ranges 6 to 12m. Leaves are opposite and petiolate, elliptic and lanceolate, with pinnate venation. Flowers are large, tubular shaped, with broadening corolla of deep yellow colour, about 2 inches long; they come out (February to April) before the tree has grown back any leaves. The fruit consists of dehiscent capsule often matured by the end of dry season. It is a slow growing, but long lasting, tree.[2]

As said, flowering and fruiting take place in dry season, from February to April, this way the seeds can take advantage of early rains. If raining season is delayed, the araguaney may flower and fruit, mildly, a second time. It is a highly efficient moisture manager. As happens with mango, the araguaney biological functions requiring most water take place precisely during dry season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Global Forest Watch - Overview of Venezuela
  2. ^ Hoyos F., Jesús (1983) "Guía de árboles de Venezuela", Caracas. Sociedad de Ciencias Naturales La Salle. Monografía Nº 32.
  • Hoyos F., Jesús (1983) "Guía de árboles de Venezuela", Caracas. Sociedad de Ciencias Naturales La Salle. Monografía Nº 32.
  • Venezuela