Saturday, August 30, 2008

Woodlawn Park Cemetery

Little Havana (Spanish: La Pequeña Habana) is a neighborhood in the city of Miami, with many Cuban immigrant residents. It is situated NorthEast of the City of Coral Gables. Woodlawn Park cemetery is in the Little Havana neighborhood and is a fascinating place to stop by to check out its spooky architectural tombs and grave markers, especially on a gloomy day of Miami like today due to hurricane Gustav nearby. This cemetery looks impressive (to me) especially in this perfectly spooky cloudy day. It has a large number of gothic statues, angels, madonnas and other religious figures.

I was also looking for a tree for some time and learned from a botanical professor of the Florida International University in Miami (Thank You!) that it can be found in this neighborhood. Sure enough, it's the tall tree you see in this photo taken from lot #3 of this cemetery, at the corner of SW 33rd Avenue and 10th Street. The tree is an Alstonia Scholaris, also known as the "Devil Tree" of India. Extract from the bark of this tree (Ditamine bark) is used in India to treat malarial fever, dysentery; and its light wood is used for coffins in Ceylon. So it's fitting and I am happy to find this tree here.

But I am attracted to this tree so that I can learn about the scent of its flowers. The insert shows the flowers on this tree today, many of the tiny 1cm size star-shaped milky white flowers (that's its name in Vietnamese: Milk Flower) have dropped and can be collected from the ground; and I have got a handful of them. It's very hard to discern any scent out of them so I'll have to return another time to catch this tree at its peak flowering time. May be I should knock on the front door of the house with the red roof and ask them to let me know when the best time is.

Alstonia Scholaris

1 comment:

TOG said...

I am pretty sure that is the same tree in the Kampong. They just use another species name.