As you may judge from the fingers (upper left), the flower is pretty large, some 5-6 inches across, and rather luridly colored orange-red, and not of the usual floral organization. The petals are not equal and in a nice regular whorl. The thing that looks a bit like a sea anemone is an androphore, a structure that bears anthers, and the rather thickish anther filaments are lavender. The furry-fuzzy disk behind is composed of sterile anthers with a single pistil in the middle that develops into a hard, cannonball-sized (6-8" diam) fruit. Like many tropical trees, this one produces flowers on its trunk rather than among its leafy branches, but this tree grows a mantle of leafless, twisty-turny dangling branches upon which flowers and fruits are borne. While a native of the neotropics, cannonball tree has been planted around the tropics as a curiosity.
1 day ago in Variety of Life