Toona sinensis “Flamingo” – Chinese Mahogany
Substantial tree with Flamingo pink pinnate leaves spring.
This is a suckering tree that forms a clump of long straight branches up to 12 meters tall. The bright pink colour last for about three weeks in spring, before fading to creamy-yellow and then rich green. Whilst the leaves are a stunning pink colour, this plant will be the focal point and talking point in your garden. It does have dangling clusters of fragrant white flowers in summer, but they are not a reason to grow this plant.
Toona sinensis comes from a region that stretches from Nepal to North Korea, including North-Eastern India, Myanmar and Thailand. “Flamingo” is a garden selection with new growth that has bright pink leaves. It appeared in Australia in the early 20th century by its exact origins are unknown. It is a “true” mahogany, being in the Meiliaceae family, and its reddish wood is used for making furniture.
Soil / Aspect:
T. sinensis likes well-drained soil and a sunny sheltered site. Try to avoid south-facing sites and heavy wet soil and your tree should quickly start growing and sending out suckering roots to form a clump. It grows quite quickly but can take up to ten years to get to its full height. It is easily the most frost-tolerant member of the Mahogany family.
Once established your only task will be to take out larger trunks periodically, effectively you are coppicing this plant, and the wood is scented when burnt. You may also harvest the leaves as a vegetable.