Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Alstonia macrophylla

About three years ago, on August 30th, 2008, I blogged about a tree in Miami's little Havana section here. I thought it is an Alstonia scholaris, but it is not. Now I stand corrected and say it is an Alstonia macrophylla. It is quite hard to differentiate the two species, and there are still some unanswered questions. So this is a continuing saga. I have consulted with quite a number of expert botanists and various books but a complete answer is still elusive. The one key element that keeps me focused is the strong scent that A. scholaris is supposed to have. This tree is in bloom for a few weeks now, and after many visits, I cannot say that I can discern any fragrance. That's quite a disappointment. However, I can tell now that I had a handful of the tiny beautiful white flowers today and I did discern for the first time a very faint sweet and pleasant smell by putting them in a plastic bag to capture their scent. That's what I was looking for... but this is A. macrophylla, not quite what I was seeking...Now I got to find the other species, the A. scholaris. Stay tuned...To be continued...
Hoa Sua

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