Sunday, October 23, 2011

In Full Bloom

As predicted on August 20th this year, the Alstonia scholaris in lot 57a at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is in full bloom today. This is the absolute peak of this tree. It is fully covered head to toe of dense clusters of flowers and they are all fully opened, except very few isolated clumps that are late. During day time, there is a lingering scent but at midnight, this tree lives up to the description in literature that serenades the sweet and subtle nightly scent. Downwind of this near midnight, you can't get enough of this perfume. During the day, this tree attracts many small butterflies and bees that pollinate the flowers to produce seed pods in about a month.

The purple flowers you see in the foreground is from the Lonchocarpus violaceus tree (Balché Tree) of the Fabaceae family from West Indies and Columbia. This tree smells very good during the day but it is no match to the Milk flowers at night.
Alstonia scholaris

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