Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Is There a Botanist in the House?

I love the trees in South Africa. You can always tell what season it is by what is blooming. Right now the poinsettias are finishing their bloom season, the coral trees are beginning to bloom, and next month the Jacarandas will be blooming.

And then there are these trees. I don't know what they're actually called, but our family calls it the "Cotton Ball Grenade" tree. The tree produces these big pods and then drops the "shell" of the pod, leaving a cotton ball explosion. Cool, huh?


Laura said...

Annie - those are some unique and cool-looking trees! I asked a botanist friend and here was his response:

"It is a tree in the Bombax family, probably a Chorisia speciosa (silkfloss tree)or a Ceiba pentandra (Kapok tree).. probably your mom can remember Kapok pillows and life preservers made from the fibers from the fruit. Your friend can check images on the web to match flower color (usually pink on the Chorisia, white to cream on the Ceiba), trunk characteristics (more thorns on the Chorisia) and other features to narrow down the ID. Both are beautiful trees from Central and South America but now cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics."

An American in Pretoria said...

Wow! Thanks, Laura (and thanks, Botanist friend)!

How are you? Doing any more theatre? Have you finished The Music Man?

beti said...

I like those trees! Looks like something one would find in Narnia or some other fantasy world. :)

christoslife said...

It is caslled in Afrikaans obviously "kappok boom" bnecause it looks like snow. Kappok is another word or term for a type of light snow.