SelecTree: Tree Detail

JACK IN THE BOX TREE
Hernandia nymphaeifolia

Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia Hernandia nymphaeifolia

Photo Locations: Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden - Miami, FL and Oahu, HI

General Notes

This tree tolerates salt spray and ocean breezes leading to it being planted in oceanfront gardens. It serves as a shade or street tree, and its curious waxy cupules enclosing the fruit are attractive, resembling pastel-colroed lanterns among the glossy, dark green foliage. Jack-in-the-box is readily propagated by seed and needs no special care. Wood used for tinder, some parts of the tree used medicinally. In Samoa, the fruit is strung in seed leis, and used for jewelry. Elsewhere the sap is used as a depilatory to remove body hair. Hernandia nymphaeifolia has a HPWRA (Hawai'i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of -2 (Low Risk).

 

Has fragrant Fruit.

Native to East Africa, Madagascar, throughout the tropical India and Pacific Oceans.

Family: Hernandiaceae

Additional Common Names

JACK IN THE BOX TREE, BING A BING, LANTERN TREE

Tree Characteristics

Erect or Spreading with a High Canopy.

Rounded Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 10 - 65 feet.

Growth Rate: 36 Inches per Year.

Leaves Peltate-Ovate, Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Showy. Cream. Flowers in Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer. Has separate male and female reproductive parts on the same tree (monoecious).

Few, Greenish White Capsule, Large (1.50 - 3.00 inches), fruiting in Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer.

Bark Brown, Rough or Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderately Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Flowers, Dry Fruit and Leaves.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones H1, H2.

USDA Hardiness Zones 10 - 11.

Exposure Full Sun.

Wet to Moist Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Salinity Tolerance is Good Inland and on Coast.

Seaside Tolerance is Good.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Attracts Bees.

Special Uses & Values

Seaside Tree, Shade Tree, Coastal Street Tree, Seaside Screen.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Hernandia nymphaeifolia Tree Record." 1995-2020. Aug 14, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/hernandia-nymphaeifolia >

This tree is not part of the SelecTree Nursery Connection. If you would like to see this tree listed, or know of a nursery that sells it, please contact us at ufei@calpoly.edu.