P a r k i a   T r e e

The Parkia is a very beautiful member of the mimosa family. It has a dramatically flat spreading crown and produces a globular bright red flower cluster that hangs down from long stalks like a clump of Christmas decorations. The top-most flowers in the flower cluster are sterile, and produce copious amounts of nectar. Parkia flower clusters look like pom-poms when they are open, an ideal structure for pollination by bats.

The flowers begin to open at dusk, close and wilt at dawn, lasting only a single night—perfect timing for nocturnal bat pollinators. Fruit bats visit and alight on the flower cluster for a few seconds, gathering the nectar, and become dusted with pollen in the process. Parkia fruits and seeds are eaten by a wide variety of monkeys and other animals.