These Rare and Beautiful Clusia flowers including Balsam Apple are some on my list of Rare Tropical Flowers!
Clusia is the type genus of the family Clusiaceae. Comprising 140-150 species, it is native to tropical and subtropical America.
Its species range from shrubs, vines and small to medium-size trees up to 20 m tall, with evergreen foliage I believe depending on how they are pruned and guided throughout its growth.
Some species start life as epiphytes, then developing long roots that descend to the ground and eventually strangle and kill the host tree, in a manner similar to strangler figs.
The leaves are opposite, 5-20 cm long and 5-10 cm broad, with a leathery texture and an entire margin and so thick you could carve your name into them and that’s how it got its nick name autograph tree.
The flowers are white to greenish-white, yellow or pink, some have red, with 4-9 petals.
The fruit on a Balsam apple or also known as clusia rosea or pitch apple is a leathery greenish-brown valvate capsule which splits open to release several red, fleshy-coated seeds and looks like a flower with between 8 to 10 pedals.
The genus Clusia was named in honor of botanist Carolus Clusius.
Clusius was one of the first in northern Europe to recognize plants for their own sake, valuing their beauty as well as their use. In 1573, he was invited by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II to establish a botanical garden (hortus botanicus) in the capital at Vienna, for which Busbecq gave him seeds and bulbs, although Clusius also had possessed tulips of his own.
A native to tropical America also known as Pitch Apple and is widely grown as an ornamental tree in tropical regions of the world. It is a compact evergreen tree that has attractive pink and white flowers and unique shaped fruit that is sometimes used in flower arrangements. The common name is derived from the unique leathery paddle leaves, but also known as the "Autograph Tree." In fact, you can scratch your name onto the surface of a leaf and the mark will remain for quite some time. Very easy indoor maintenance.
Thanks To toptropicals.com I am able to bring these pictures and informaton to you.