I saw these two small trees in my university campus and would like to know what they are so I can find out more about them.

If it will help, I can say that these are planted in Miami, FL. The pictures were taken in March. These are about 8 ft in height. I think they grow slowly because I've seen them at about the same size for a few years. They don't look like young trees to me, but that's really not saying much.

Identifying them would be a BIG help, but my next step would be to start learning about them online so any information on them will be very welcome as well.


Based on the answers, I realized I needed to post some more details. So I went back and got these closeups of the flowers and leaves. These are pictures of new and mature leaves and also the back of mature leaves. I removed the redundant pictures of the entire tree.

Whole tree Flowers New growth Mature leaves Back of mature leaves

3 Answers 3


I believe this is Mesua ferrea, a beautiful tropical tree in the family Calophyllaceae (formerly included in Clusiaceae). The leaf arrangement is difficult to discern in the images posted due to lack of close ups, however I think I am seeing pairs of opposite leaves which is consistent with members of the Calophyllaceae and would rule out Ficus, the vast majority of which have alternate leaves. The pink/ copper coloured new growth is also a feature of Mesua.



  • I think you are right! I went back and got new pictures that I think will be useful. Could you please take a second look and confirm? I was surprised to read about "large white flowers" because I've never seen them, but they are certainly there! There are not many flowers, though. It was hard to find some. Is that normal or a consequence of these maybe kept heavily pruned here?
    – rgarc101
    Mar 9, 2018 at 20:35
  • Well done on the additional, very detailed images. To me, the leaf arrangement, leaf venation, buds, flowers, discolorous mature leaves (pale undersides) and pink/ copper juvenile growth all confirm Mesua ferrea.
    – Ben W
    Mar 10, 2018 at 1:13

I am going to say Ficus maclellandii. The Banana Leaf Ficus.



This is a Carpenteria californica. Also known as tree anemone.


Its natural habit is bush, but the specimen on this campus are trained to the tree shape.

All else matches: flowers, leaves, max height, etc.

A very nice and beautiful plant!

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