Plant Spotlight: "Buttered Popcorn" Tree
June 9, 2010
by Britta Soderqvist, Estates Plant Curator
There is a tree at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates whose small white flowers smell like buttered popcorn! It just started blooming in late May. The plant’s name is False Rubberwood (Mascarenhasia arborescens) although the common name is not really used much. We typically refer to it as the “buttered popcorn tree”. It grows to about 20 feet high and although the online resources say it prefers full sun, ours is growing in partial shade. The False Rubberwood is native to tropical regions of Africa and requires a moderate amount of water .
Visitors can smell the flowers on the tree that is next to the kapok tree behind the Banyan Café. It’s fairly difficult to find these in Florida but the Estates Garden Shoppe has a few of these trees for sale in pots.