I am very passionate about studying plants and flowers. I love to garden in my free time.
Meet the Rainbow Shower Tree, a Gorgeous Hybrid in the Cassia Family
Rainbow Shower trees are fast-growing, pink-flowering trees which can be easily grown in the tropical and subtropical climates. This tree is actually a new hybrid, a cross between the Cassia javanica (also known as the Golden Shower) and Cassia fistula. Cassia javanica is sometimes referred to as the pink shower tree, although this name also refers to a few other trees in the Cassia family.
It may be noted that sometimes the Cassia javanica are also called Apple Blossom Trees, even though they do not produce apples or any other edible fruits. The similarity of their flowers to apple blossoms is probably the reason for the name.
A Veritable Rainbow of Blossom Colours
As the Rainbow Shower Tree is a hybrid from the Pink Shower and Golden Shower trees, they usually produce flowers which can be light pink or crimson pink and also light yellow or even white-coloured flowers. In fact, the colour of the flowers usually varies between shades of pink, red, orange, yellow and white colours, and this should be the reason for their name.
Many times each flower has a combination of these colours. In fact, they look stunning with lots of flowers that bloom in a variety of colors in the same tree, and with the beautiful green leaves that form in pinnae.
Characteristics of This Hybrid
When the Rainbow Showers are in full bloom, they literally produce a showering of flowers even when there is a mild wind. When in full bloom, they look so pretty with lots of flowers over the wide canopy. They are often planted in streets, parks and gardens for shade.
This tree usually grows up to 50 metres in height, and it has a very wide canopy with many number of branches, which make them good for shade.
Cassia Parent Species
Cassia is the general name for a group of flowering trees that comes under the legume family Fabaceae. There are more than a hundred species of flowering plants in this family. Both parents Cassia javanica and Cassia fistula are tropical trees which are native to Southeast Asia and they are grown very widely in the Southeast Asian countries.
The scientific name assigned to this relatively new hybrid of Cassia fistula and Cassia javanica is Cassia x nealiae.
The Flowers of the Parent Species
Below you can see pictures of flowers from the parent species, Cassia fistula and Cassia javanica which are also known as the Golden Shower Trees and the Pink Shower Trees respectively.
The Growth and Characteristics of Rainbow Trees
They grow well in tropical climates and need full exposure to the sun for growth and flowering. The soil should be well drained where the roots of the tree can grow deeper. They usually reach a height of about 50 metres and develop a broad canopy of numerous branches, which makes them excellent for shade. The large number of branches they develop seem to be brittle, and they are most prone to breaking when there are strong winds.
Space Is Important!
Make sure you have enough space, as they grow deep roots and develop large number of wide and long branches. It is not a good idea to plant these trees near buildings and other structures, as the roots can interfere with the foundation of the buildings and also the growth of the branches may be affected. The trees usually bloom fully in the spring season. When they bloom, they look stunning due to the large number of flowers that form in racemes in pink, yellow, light orange, red and white colours.
Its green coloured seeds are produced in long cylindrical seed capsules which can be 25 cm long. They turn dark brown or black in color as they matures and get dried. And the natural propagation happens through the dried seeds that burst out of the pods. However, they produce very few or no such seed capsules and so the propagation must be done through either grafting or air layering techniques.
Climate and Watering Conditions
They can usually tolerate droughts, but they don't do well in extremely cold climates. Sometimes, they seem to survive mild winters. Today, they are widely grown in Hawaii and you can see many especially in Honolulu where it is also the official tree. They are also grown in many parts of Southeast Asian countries and also in places like Florida and Texas.
A Beautiful, Fragrant Treat for Your Garden
To summarize, these trees make excellent ornamental trees and shading trees, provided they have enough space to grow and they are planted in areas with tropical and subtropical temperatures. If you have a garden with enough space to grow the rainbow shower trees, they definitely will make your garden look unique and attractive. They are not only beautiful, but the flowers are fragrant and they can attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Indra on January 24, 2019:
My cassia rainbow tree would be 5m in height and width, however has never flowered.....what am I doing wrong?
Linda Grgeory on November 05, 2017:
I planted a 5 yr old Cassia Rainbow tree in my back yard, 20 years ago, (Miami, FL). It used to bloom a little in the beginning, but was never a big bloomer. It is huge and wants to grow as big as 'daddy' (C. Javonica). I have to cut it back 10 ft. every 2-3 years, as all of the long slender limbs grow out so quickly. What can I give it to help it bloom? (It was never cut back until it was 15 years old...so pruning it it has not been the cause of no blossoms.) My C. Fistula, (Golden Shower), that grows 30 feet away from it, blooms like crazy twice a year.
Maureen Fawns on February 05, 2017:
Have been trying to buy this Rainbow Showers, the only one was $450, 6ft tall but too expensive for me. I may have to try to graft Cassia Fistula and Cassia Javanica to get one. There just is none available in my area and not available for order.
Tim on November 12, 2015:
Only heard about the rainbow shower last week in Cairns (tropical North Queensland Aust) half a dozen in the city park next to the pool. Cassia apple blossom has long been a favorite of mine, now with my intro the the rainbow hybrid that has taken 1st place.
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on July 12, 2015:
Thank you :) I agree, they are so pretty!
poetryman6969 on April 22, 2015:
Rainbow shower tree. Impossibly pretty!
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on January 28, 2015:
Hi norma-holt, I am really sorry for the late reply and thanks so much for reading! I too think these trees are great :)
norma-holt on September 15, 2014:
Great tree that I have not seen before. Good read and lovely pics.
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on May 12, 2014:
Thank you so much DDE :)
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 12, 2014:
A beautiful tree and have not heard of it. I enjoyed learning about such a unique true.
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on May 04, 2014:
Thanks Alicia :)
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2014:
The flowers of the rainbow shower tree are beautiful! Thank you so much for introducing me to this tree. All three trees that you mention have lovely names.
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on May 02, 2014:
Thank you so much for stopping by Treathyl Fox! I agree, there are so many beautiful things in this earth to enjoy and appreciate :)
Treathyl FOX from Austin, Texas on May 02, 2014:
Amazing. Rainbow shower trees? Never heard of them! There are so many beautiful things in this world to enjoy and appreciate. I truly believe this planet was created by a Divine Being with a beautiful mind.
VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on May 01, 2014:
Thanks so much :)
FlourishAnyway from USA on May 01, 2014:
How beautiful. I have never heard of these but can just imagine how they attract the hummingbirds and butterflies. Good hub!