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I have trouble identifying a tree that I saw on a vacation. This is the image:

I would like to know the name of the tree, I only know that its not European.

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    $\begingroup$ Where did you take this image? $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Dec 28, 2014 at 11:02
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    $\begingroup$ I took it in southern france but I asked the owner about the tree and she said that its not from there. $\endgroup$
    – tly
    Dec 28, 2014 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ but it still could be european $\endgroup$
    – TanMath
    Jan 1, 2015 at 0:46

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I think you should look into trees in the Rubiaceae family (which is very large with ~6500 species in total). Many species there have spherical inflorescences, and some are somewhat similar-looking to the ones in your picture, e.g. Neolamarckia cadamba or species in the Nauclea genus. This is however just a suggestion to guide you, and not a species determination. Note also that spherical inflorescences are relatively common in many plant taxa, so it might be found in another family than Rubiaceae.

This is what Nauclea orientalis (photo from Wikipedia) looks like, just to give you a sense of the basic similarity: enter image description here

The individual flowers are however much smaller than the flowers in your picture.

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    $\begingroup$ @tly Very generous to "accept" my answer, but in fairness I don't think it is a full answer to your question. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2015 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ floret color and density does not match with OP $\endgroup$
    – user25568
    Aug 29, 2016 at 2:49
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    $\begingroup$ @AlwaysConfused That is why I wrote: "..just a suggestion to guide you, and not a species determination". I'm suggesting a family, not a species. $\endgroup$ Aug 29, 2016 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ I agree totally. this is why I put the comment there. Suggesting is good-thing, in fact our mind reach to a truth not in one-chance but in a long-chain of thought-experiments. I had just tried to tell the asker, that the mismatch is also high. I should use @tly before putting the comment. $\endgroup$
    – user25568
    Aug 29, 2016 at 11:48
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The fruit strongly resembles immature lychee (Litchi chinensis). Since I have only seen the fruit, I cannot comment on whether the flower looks correct. The flowers appear to be slightly different from those in Wikipedia, especially in the number of "stamens"(?) per flower.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this is correct, since the picture in the question seems to show spherical inflorescences (clusters of small flower buds) and not fruits. The inflorescences to the right have started flowering. Lychee (and the related Rambutan) have spiked fruits, but these are not flower beds (rather the result of flowering). $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2014 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater You're right, which is why I said that the flowers appear to be slightly different. I would consider this a partial answer, perhaps the actual plant would be phylogenetically related. $\endgroup$
    – March Ho
    Dec 29, 2014 at 23:50
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In what season was the picture taken?

Can you give an idea of the size of the objects present on the photo?

Based on the rough surface of the fruits, I would suggest having a look at Moraceae, and in particular at the Artocarpeae tribe within this family.

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