Cannonball is a large deciduous tree native to the Amazon basin. It thrives in low land forests, even with periods of flooding and dry. Shamans consume the fruit and use it as medicine. However, eating is not recommended as the fruit can cause an allergic reaction.
The cannonball tree is a botanical curiosity. Flowers and fruits, born from a tangle of racemes off the trunk, are displayed over the entire length. Sometimes 1,000 flowers at a time are present! The striking and unusual pink flowers have 6 concave petals, with many stamens inside. They emit a delightful aroma, especially at dawn and dusk. In contrast, the fruit has an odor similar to a skunk. The common name describes the fruit’s shape. When struck, it explodes! Animals eat the fallen fruit.
Several arboretums and botanical gardens grow this tree across the state. For home use, Plant this tree carefully. It’s huge- the falling fruit can be a hazard, plus numerous fallen fruits are malodorous. Propagation is by seed and sucker.
- Toxic to humans
High Risk Traits:
- Thrives in tropical climates
- Possibly naturalized
- Poisonous if ingested and handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
- Tolerates many soil types
- Spreads vegetatively by suckering
- Seeds dispersed by pigs and other mammals
Low Risk Traits:
- No reports of invasiveness
- Ornamental and medicinal uses
- Long time to reproductive maturity (10+ years)
- Seeds will not form a persistent seed bank