cannonball tree

Cannonball Tree

You’ve never seen fruits like these. Meet a member of the Brazil nut family in the Nutrien Garden of Life, right in our ENMAX Conservatory.

Fragrant flowers, grown directly from the… trunk?

The cannonball tree is flagelliflory, meaning that flowers form on the tree’s trunk, rather than growing alongside its leaves. A single cannonball tree can have more than 1000 flowers that give off a strong scent, particularly in the early evening and in the morning. True to its name, a cannonball tree grows fruit that resembles a cannonball, and they are about as tasty as one – while edible when ripe, the fruit has an unpleasant odour and is a sickly green-blue when it oxidizes, and so its primary use is medicinal. 


  • Latin Name: Couroupita guianensis 
  • IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (at relatively low risk of extinction)
  • Type: Deciduous tree 
  • Produces: Flowers and fruits 
  • Habitat: Tropical forests of Central and South America 
  • USDA Climate Zone: 11 – 12 
  • Size: More than 25 metres tall 
Cannonball tree

Care & Conservation

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facts about our plants

Fun Facts about Cannonball Trees

The flowers of a cannonball tree do not produce nectar but have pollen that bees enjoy.

A cannonball tree’s fruit contains hundreds of small seeds.

The fruit is typically only consumed in times of famine.

The fruit’s shell has been used to make utensils.

Cannonball fruit can weigh up to 16 kilograms.

The flowers of a cannonball tree are yellow or red on the outside and crimson or lilac on the inside.

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