The Pacara earpod tree gets its name from its distinctive and prolific seed pods. A native of Costa Rica, this shade tree has made its home in Florida. The large crop of seed pods allows it to colonize the landscape in groves. Birds also carry the seeds, making single specimens sprout. Click on the image for a larger view.

Pacara Earpod Tree

Since moving to Florida, I have found the Pacara Earpod Tree, Enterolobium contortisiliquum, fascinating. I have photographed it several times: here and here. These are the seed pods that give the tree its name and are about 7 cm in diameter. Not surprisingly, the tree is a member of the pea family. And being a member of the legume family, this tree is a huge nitrogen fixer. It is, however, an invasive species. Click on the image for a larger view.