NO… this is not about cauliflower !  Cauliflory is an evolutionary adaptation in which flowers and fruit develop directly from the trunks and woody branches of plants.


Cauliflory means “ stem flower”.  It occurs in a distinct vertical zone below the forest canopy.  Its found throughout  the world.  It is most prevalent in the tropical rain forest.



There are many different animal species that visit these flowers.  Because of this it is difficult to generalize about any particular group that specializes in cauliflory.  Marsupial and placental animals that climb on trunks are a large group.  Perching birds, fruit bats, and small crawling or flying insects are also included.

Some examples of cauliflory plants you may know are:




Cacao (chocolate)

Cacao flower

Soursop (guanabana)


Soursop flower

There are also many super exotic ones you probably never heard of :


A brilliant red-flowered Brownea macrophylla


A bottlebrush tree called Calothamnus validus


Halleria lucida – related to snapdragons !


Google the subject ! You will be fascinated for sure !


For us here in New York City only redbuds would survive.  But they are spectacular and come in several shades of red and even a white ! Twelve different varieties –  who knew !!!


Redbud – Cercis canadensis


Ask any one of our Plant Specialists Designers for help in finding you one !    Or all Twelve for that matter !

my favorite – Cercis canadensis ‘Pink Pom Poms’ – check it out !






Article written by our Staff Horticulturist, Peter B Morris, BSc, MSc, MBA

All photographs used with permission @SHUTTERSTOCK