If you are looking for exotic trees to add a special touch to your landscaping project, then consider trees with long bean-like seed pods. Not only are the pods themselves unusual and sure to catch the eye, but many of these trees have other exotic features such extraordinary foliage. Choosing multiple trees with such pods lets you have a widely varying look to your yard while keeping a unifying thread.
Locust trees produce many species with bean-like pods that are commonly used for ornamental purposes. The clammy locust has clusters of pink and red flowers. The honey locust has clusters of green flowers. The redbud's flowers are an unusual rose-purple, and the yellow-wood has clusters of white flowers about a foot long. The pods of the clammy locust are hairy, and those of the honey locust give the tree a rattling sound in the autumn. The yellow-wood's pods have a silvery sheen and remain on the tree throughout the winter.
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Poinciana trees are also called flame trees and flamboyant trees. Considered by some to be among the most beautiful trees in the world, poincianas have lush fern-like foliage and put forth bright orange-red flowers. These flowers have elaborate geometrical designs and look unlike most flowers of any other sort. Poincianas also produce seed pods that look like old-fashioned straight razors.
Indian Bean Trees
Indian bean trees have heart-shaped leaves spread in a domed canopy that can reach all the way to the ground. Interspersed among the leaves are the bean-like seed pods and white flowers with yellow and purple spots. The pods remain on the tree throughout the winter, giving the Indian bean tree an interesting and unusual look even when all of your other trees are bare.
The mesquite, or honey pod tree, does well in arid conditions, where it takes the form of a sprawling shrub. In better conditions, it can reach heights of 60 feet. It has clusters of fragrant greenish flowers. These are followed by clusters of bean-like seed pods. These pods are edible and also nutritious. The wood of the mesquite tree makes excellent charcoal that is prized in grilling, for the unique flavor it imparts to the meat.
Texas Ebony Trees
The Texas ebony tree has fern-like leaves with cream-colored flowers that grow together in clusters. The large bean-like pods contain few seeds and a lot of fleshy fruit. The immature pods make a tasty and nutritious food when cooked like the beans they resemble. Fully ripe pods are roasted, ground up and used as a coffee substitute.