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Butea monosperma (Flame of the forest) is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to a maximum of 45 feet (13.72 m) tall. The Flame of the forest tree has a crooked, twisted trunk and irregular branches with rough gray bark. The crown is irregular but rounded. Also, its thick, velvety, pale green leaves have three leaflets (trifoliate). The leaflets are 4 to 8 inches (20.32 cm) wide. Finally, the vivid bright orange-red flowers are borne in clusters about 6 inches (15.24 cm) long with blooms about 1 inch (2.54 cm) long. The gorgeous flowers attract birds and insects.
Flowering occurs after the leaves have been shed in the dry season providing a spectacular show. Fruit pods have a fine hairy surface, first green, then becoming yellow brown when ripe. Also, the pods measure 6 to 8 inches (20.32 cm) long, containing flat brown seeds, used for propagation. The tree has a long history of use in Asia, providing timber, fuel, resin, fodder, medicines and dye. Butea monosperma (Flame of the forest) will grow in a variety of soil types, from dry to saline to waterlogged. This is one of the exceptional flowering trees, it is ideal as a specimen or accent in a garden, in large planters or public open spaces.