Cycling Claremont: One of a Kind

Claremont, City of Trees. 

I took a longer, slower route home from the Bud's Ride the other night, the kind of route that cuts through the colleges. When I saw this tree with the vivid red/pink flowers and branches I immediately knew it as a Brachychiton, a Bottle Tree (not to be confused with a Bottle Brush Tree), not due to the flowers but to the trunk. Later, after a little investigating I am convinced that it is a Brachychiton acerifolia, which makes sense - the leaves are certainly acer (Maple) like. I can't recall ever seeing one in bloom before, and I can't imagine forgetting something like that; those pendulous clusters of flowers make an impression. What I don't know is why this one is in full bloom, while the other three (planted in a row) are not. Some amazing things to be seen when riding - this time outside the Pitzer College Green Bike Program's shop.