Escambron: Those beautiful Puerto Ricans!

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Escambron: Those beautiful Puerto Ricans!

Post  Auballagh on Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:44 am

Last year, in early June, 2012, I was fortunate to be able to purchase 2 Escambron, clerodendrum aculeatum bonsai trees from a friend here in Virginia who had traveled down to Florida in late winter for a vacation.  Apparently both were originally wild-collected in Puerto Rico, and had been in development as bonsai for a couple years prior to my purchase of them last year.  Since getting them, they have become a couple of my favorite Bonsai.  I discovered that these Escambrons are big sulkers this past winter when kept inside the house under strong, Metal Halide lighting.  (They probably don't like the dry, heated air very much....) But, when placed outside in full sun during the very hot, humid summer months in coastal Virginia, these trees just seem to burst out with some crazy growth and energy.  You really have to watch them close if wired, and it's been tough to stay on top of them and keep them from getting too wild in growth.  I do let some of the new growth run out pretty long, to thicken up branches and help build taper

Here is a picture of the bigger one before any pruning,


Front (or back) shot, after the manicure and pedicure treatment in the 'Escambron Styling Salon,


And back (or front) photo,


The pot is just a Chinese, Yixing training pot while at this point in early development.  Sphagnum moss has been layered on as a top coat to help slow down water evaporation, because these trees have proven to be quite thirsty in summer, but really DO NOT like their feet kept wet.  I keep them in a basic, sifted bonsai soil mix of one third Turface, one third Haydite and one third Pine Bark.  The only other notable thing I've noticed, is that they like to be kept in more alkaline, soil conditions.  So, I mix up about 1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt with one gallon of water every other week to give them along with their fertilizer, and the leaves seem to respond well with a deeper green color.
Outside of Florida, and of course Puerto Rico, I understand these trees are pretty hard to find.  Keeping has been pretty easy, and they seem to develop and work very well as bonsai material.  In short, they are great trees.  And, though they are not cheap to purchase if you don't live in Puerto Rico, I think they're definitely worth the price of admission into a very cool club.  If you can find one or more of these somewhere for sale, I strongly recommend giving the Escambron a try as a tropical Bonsai! Very Happy

Auballagh
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Re: Escambron: Those beautiful Puerto Ricans!

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:10 pm

Auballagh,

we get a variety from Barbados, and you can also see them in use in Taiwan, I believe.

I have never had to do anything other than just let them grow, no water problems or other.
We do have a bug that likes to eat the leaves, but other than that, I second your shout, they are great for Bonsai.
Thanks for posting, please post your progress.
Khaimraj

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Re: Escambron: Those beautiful Puerto Ricans!

Post  hiram on Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:24 am

They are really one of the best species for bonsai.  I have numerous ones and I just can get enough of them.  They are getting harder to collect in Puerto Rico.  The person I buy from has not been able to find any decent ones for over a year.  It's a shame because they are awesome but they do not like the cold.  Mine grow approximately an inch a day in the summer.  They have beautiful white flowers.  Here in the states they are know by Haggarbush.  They do great from cuttings.



Here is one of mine in the works.  It needs a little bit of carving and more time to fill in the pads.


Last edited by hiram on Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

hiram
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Re: Escambron: Those beautiful Puerto Ricans!

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:06 am

These plants grow very fast and trunk thicken well. Just set cuttings, and ground grow in colanders from late spring until a month before the first frost, if need be, potting into pots just 1/2 " [ 1.25 cm ] larger that the root ball.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Escambron: Those beautiful Puerto Ricans!

Post  jrodriguez on Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:17 pm

No carving on these. Natural shari is ok. Man made shari will rot.

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Re: Escambron: Those beautiful Puerto Ricans!

Post  fabrice B on Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:05 am

Hi everybody,

in Guadeloupe we also have this great specie, use more the scissor than wire, it make more natural tree for this one.

Regards




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Re: Escambron: Those beautiful Puerto Ricans!

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:17 pm

Fabrice,

beautiful effort. Good to see that you are still around.
Got anything else that you would like to show.
Thanks for the images.
Khaimraj

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Re: Escambron: Those beautiful Puerto Ricans!

Post  fabrice B on Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:33 am

Thanks Khaimraj, I take more time for my trees and less on the internet but things are growing nice. I will show some and also on my blog (http://bonsaiguadeloupe.blogspot.com/)
I'm also enjoying my time here to share and read great post on bonsaî Very Happy

fabrice B
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Re: Escambron: Those beautiful Puerto Ricans!

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