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Products > Pararchidendron pruinosum
Pararchidendron pruinosum - Snow Wood
Image of Pararchidendron pruinosum
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Mimosaceae (~Fabales)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pale Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Pithecellobium pruinosum]
Height: 15-25 feet
Width: 10-20 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Pararchidendron pruinosum (Snow Wood) An attractive upright small tree with a bushy canopy to 25 to 30 feet tall. It has 10 inch long pinnately compound leaves with 2 to 3 inch long obovate leaflets that are a shiny light green above and dull green below. In late spring in to early summer appear the fragrant pom-pom flowers that start an off-white color and age to a deep yellow. In fall the plant is covered with interesting orange twisted curlicue pods that split open while still on the tree to reveal the small black seeds quite a festive look at Halloween! Plant in full sun in a moderately well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally initially. Once established, this rain forest tree is actually quite drought tolerant and tolerates light to moderate frost and short duration temperatures into the mid 20s F. It is a graceful tree with lacy foliage, attractive flowers, and showy interesting fruit. As a bonus, the flowers are noted to attract butterflies. In Australia it is reported that this plant can be kept in a container for long periods and even be used for as an indoor house plant. Snow Wood is native to the Illawarra region in New South Wales north to the Atherton Tableland in North Queensland and is also found in New Guinea and Indonesia where it is often seen on the rainforest margins forming a dense bank of foliage. As with many trees in the pea family, this plant fixes atmospheric nitrogen in the soil using symbiotic partnership with root bacteria and this allows it to grow on nutrient poor sandy soil. The name for this monotypic genus means "close to Archidendron", a closely related genus, but it was originally placed in the genus Pithecellobium, which otherwise has only New World species. The specific epithet comes from the Latin word 'pruinos' meaning "frosted" or covered with a "powdery bloom", likely a reference to the plant in flower. It has several common names that illustrate its characteristics, the most common of these is Snow Wood, which alludes to the trees appearance in late spring when covered in the newly emerging fluffy white flowers. Another name is Monkey's Earrings, which comes from the colorful twisted orange fruit pods with shiny black seeds. It is also called 'Stinkwood for the scent of the wood when being cut, but while the odor is strong, it really is not unpleasant. Our plants were grown from seed that we collected in 2018 at Orpet Park, a city park (originally called Hillside Park) on the Santa Barbara Riviera. This tree was 29 feet tall when the seed was collected. This same tree had been listed in Maunsell Van Rensselaer's 1947 Trees of Santa Barbara as being 18 feet tall at that time. Peter Riedel in his Plants for Extra-tropical Regions noted that this species was introduced in the US by the Bureau of Plant Industry (USDA) in 1930 (BPI 90717-1930), so likely this tree had been planted sometime not long after its introduction.  The information about Pararchidendron pruinosum displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.