The Serebo (Schizolobium sp.) is an enormous tree and one of the most important for Santa Cruz. Why important? It is a pioneer of disturbed areas and with the incredible fast growth of Santa Cruz and the cutting down of much of the local forests, it is a tree that can grow in that type of landscape. It is also very fast growing and best of all, it is a nitrogen-fixer, which means that through its roots, it takes nitrogen from the atmosphere and puts it back into usable form in to the soil.
It can grow up to 25 to 40 meters in height and have a trunk diameter of more than a meter. The yellow flowers can be seen from May to August in the southern hemisphere. This is the dry season here and it flowers when more of the leaves have dropped. It is a legume and the pods are teardrop shaped and quite large. The seeds are eaten by many species of parrots. As you can see in the photo above, it is starting to flower. Below is a photo of the trunk. You can see a Monstera deliciosa, the Adam’s Rib plant on the trunk. This is a common indoor ornamental plant, but it was originally from the northern Neotropics. It does well in shady, moist areas.