Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

Use this forum to discuss matters relating to Caudiciform and Pachyform fat plants. This is where one posts unknown plant photos for ID help.
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ContainersForNow
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Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#1

Post by ContainersForNow »

I have an Uncarina roeseliana, and while I know it's supposed to be deciduous in nature, it retains leaves for me if I move it inside for the winter. However, I also have this NOID tree that has somewhat similar attributes (tree with velvety leaves), but no matter what it drops its leaves in the late fall and doesn't regrow leaves until late spring/early summer. I've also never seen this plant flower though my U. roeseliana does all the time. I bought this NOID tree unlabeled at a society sale and never found an ID for it, and I was wondering if anyone here knows what it is? I feel like I'm not giving it its ideal care and an ID would help me figure out why.
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Yesterday, finally leafing out again
Yesterday, finally leafing out again
succulent tree ID leafing out.jpg (60.31 KiB) Viewed 10674 times
What is the plant on the left with the ??? label?
What is the plant on the left with the ??? label?
Succulent tree ID.jpg (105.86 KiB) Viewed 10674 times
Stan
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#2

Post by Stan »

I'm getting the U.grandidieri vibe from it. Sometimes you have to with whats the more available. Especially at a sale where anything rare is going to be pricey.
Hayward Ca. 75-80f summers,60f winters.
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#3

Post by ContainersForNow »

Thanks for taking a look! I'm not yet won over by that ID as I think it's too different from photos of U. grandidieri I see online - but who knows, maybe mine's a runt/weirdo. It wasn't very pricey (~$15? this was a few years ago so I don't remember exactly...) but it was from a members' sale section that always prices super kindly so I'd guess it'd run $35-50 at a normal nursery based on other plants I've bought from that section vs. what I know their normal pricing would be. I wouldn't be surprised if it's not an Uncarina but rather something related, but I don't know what other similar genera exist.
Stan
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#4

Post by Stan »

It was my best guess,but I agree..somethings are different- the barrel trunk is different from the swelling of Uncarina,.but I thought maybe too long in a small pot did that.
Fun to find out. If you can get it to really add some growth this summer,might know by then.
Hayward Ca. 75-80f summers,60f winters.
BronxFatty
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#5

Post by BronxFatty »

Could the plant actually be a rooted Uncarina g. cutting.? Seed grown plants, I've read, develop a typical caudex, earlier. Rooted branches may not display the typical "wine-bottle" caudex.

But what do I know?
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#6

Post by BronxFatty »

Possibly????? Firmiana colorata...... Or even possibly a seedling Brachychiton discolor?

Your NO-ID seems to have a more lignified, "barky", less juicy, mainstem, compared to the Uncarina. It looks more like the seedling stage of a caudiciform tree.

Just guessing. I'm no Botanist
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#7

Post by mickthecactus »

Brachychiton went through my mind.
Stan
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#8

Post by Stan »

Brachychiton esque. I can go along with that.
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#9

Post by BronxFatty »

The mystery continues.......maybe the new leaves and growth pattern will be the "tell".
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#10

Post by ContainersForNow »

The growth this summer ended up at approximately its normal standard, so that's good I suppose, but it never looks like it's thriving to me, just surviving. I don't really perceive much change in the trunk in terms of growth - just the leaves.
mystery tree Aug072020.jpg
mystery tree Aug072020.jpg (105.86 KiB) Viewed 9126 times
Mystery tree Sept212020.jpg
Mystery tree Sept212020.jpg (108.95 KiB) Viewed 9126 times
I looked up Brachychiton in general and Brachychiton discolor in specific, but I didn't see any with fuzzy/velvety leaves like this one has. I love the batwing look of Firmiana colorata but it's definitely not the same leaf either. I do think the leaf looks very similar to an Uncarina leaf but it's not behaved like my Uncarina roeseliana in a number of ways (never flowers, doesn't get the knobbly bits on the trunk, is firmly deciduous, doesn't seem to really grow much, trunk is a darker shade) so that's part of what perplexes me.
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#11

Post by BronxFatty »

Following along with interest.
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#12

Post by Ann »

The leaves look more like U. peltata or U. grandidieri. I just got the U. peltata and all the leaves dropped so pretty sensitive to the shipping at least. My U. grandidieri usually keeps at least some leaves through the winter and even flowers although it gets very little occasional water. If you get it to flower one definite clue for U. grandidieri is the dark throat.

Are both plants in the same soil? Differences in moisture retention could cause the difference in leaf drop.
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#13

Post by BronxFatty »

Hello...

I bought U. peltata last year. The grower sold me the plant as identified. It drops all its leaves as weather becomes cooler and the plant becomes, and stays dormant until the following spring. I just barely water the plant but do mist it occasionally just to keep it hydrated.

This plant produces beautiful yellow flowers with a deep maroon dot in the throat. The contrasting colors makes quite a show! Love the plant. It grows very quickly and puts out plenty of flowers.

***********************************************************************************************************

Just curious....how do you guys overwinter your plants?
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#14

Post by ContainersForNow »

My mystery tree has been overwintered a few different ways but all of my plants come inside as I've been in 6B and now 4B zones in the USA for the past 7.5 years. Typically once the mystery tree drops its leaves, I do deprioritize it in terms of the best light spots if it's staying in my house as I have too many plants for the prime light real estate. However last winter I brought it to work, and it got to live right up against a huge northern window so that was probably the best winter lighting it received. I always water it very rarely during the winter. I've not misted it though.

My U. roeseliana gets better lighting throughout winter because it retains its leaves, and I seem to recall it's even flowered over the winter for me. It's always under lamps with fluorescent daylight spectrum bulbs in my kitchen for 8-12 hours per day in the winter depending on the year and various trials I've done.
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#15

Post by BronxFatty »

Thanks for the quick answers to my overwintering questions.

I'm facing the dormant period of winter No. 2, with my Uncarina. I ordered the plant late in the season, from a grower in Texas. Weather at the time of shipping was very cool, but not yet cold....but I have no idea what temps the plant encountered while it was being shipped to NYC. I arrived in perfect condition and the few leaves it still had dropped off within a week or so. I overwintered the Uncarina in a warmish bedroom, kept it dry, and under a compact CFL Daylight bulb. I had little expectation that the plant would survive. The expected shriveling, dehydration, and browning of tender new branch tips never happened, and when spring of 202w0 arrived I just gave it some water and a few weeks later, leaves appeared from the branch terminals.

The plant went back outside, onto my sunny deck and grew like a weed thru the 2020 summer It added girth to the branches and caudex. The plant is now twice its former size. The trunk really fattened up. Assuming it lives thru the winter months, in 2021, I will probably double-pot the tree and let the roots grow out of the smaller container and let them roam around into a 25 gallon tub.

Interesting plants, Uncarinas. I'm hoping to successfully germinate the 30 seeds that were just delivered last week.
Stan
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#16

Post by Stan »

To grow them faster..once a week go over them with liquid fertilizer is my advice. Mild fertilizer. The Miracle grow for flowering plants has really helped..its bloomed much longer and more then before. Not as heavy as a plant in ground..but darn good for a potted plant.
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#17

Post by Pituophian »

That looks like a Sterculia, maybe africana or urens.
Stan
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#18

Post by Stan »

Also,whatever it is? It's been planted too high. Maybe thats why its not grown as expected. Maybe repot and plant so only that top bulge is above the soil line.
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#19

Post by ContainersForNow »

Oooh, it does look very reminiscent of Sterculia africana in the leaf shape. However, the leaves are much smaller in scale and fuzzy than they appear in googled photos of Sterculia africana seedlings.

Sure, I'll replant it lower in the spring! It probably could do with a repotting anyway.
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Re: Tree ID? - Uncarina-esque but always deciduous

#20

Post by AmonRa »

I'd say peltata, the trunk looks right and the leaves are definately not grandidieri.
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