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The Autograph tree (Clusia rosea) was brought into Hawai'i as an ornamental plant. The Autograph tree gets it's common name (also called the Signature Tree, Scotch Attorney, Pitch Apple, or Balsam Fig) because of the leaves. Each leaf is fairly large, 5 to 8 inches, oval, thick and sturdy. You can scratch the leaf with a sharp object and it will remove the dark green outer layer and reveal a light green inner layer. People write messages, their name, love notes and other types of graffiti into the leaves. The messages stay as long as the leaf is attached to the tree, often months. The autograph tree has showy, drooping, flowers, 3 inches in diameter (7.5 cm) with thick pearly pink petals and yellow stamens. The Clusia blooms during the warmest months.
May 9th, 2010
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