Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scarlet Long John

There are two major botanical gardens in Miami, one is world reknown which is the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG.) The other one is virtually only known to the scientific circles, unknown otherwise even to native Miamians; and that is the Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC.) Fairchild and Montgomery were close friends and their former properties are located adjacent to each other. MBC has the Triplaris sp. that you can see here; and FTBG has a beautiful Triplaris cumingiana that is in full bloom right now. This tree is on the North side of FTBG's Palm Glade and it towers over a water lily pond. Directly opposite it on the other side is a beautiful Alstonia scholaris (the Vietnamese "Milk Flower" tree.) Looking at this photo, you may think that this T. cumingiana is a large tree. It is not so because this is a cluster of many trees, each one truly earns its "Long John" nick name. Today, the ground surrounding these trees are littered with red fuzzy seed pods with three blade wings. I got a handful of them and if lucky, I may begin to have baby T. cumingiana.

This place is so peaceful that on week days, you can sit here and may only hear the wind whispers and occasional foot steps of lizards.
Ant Tree

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