Sunday, April 22, 2007

Pau Brasil II

As reported in the previous blog post, the older of the two pau-brasil trees (Caesalpinia echinata) at Bosque Santa Lucia was planted in 2000. It's bloomed at least three times (as shown in the attached image) but it's never produced fruit, which is a bean-shaped pod covered with thorns. It's really exciting to see the tree in bloom because of the rich yellow color with blotches of red. Swarms of insects visit the flowers and in two or three days the show is over. The blooms disappear as quickly as they came. I find it very mysterious but every bloom is broken off at the stem, as though cut by insects. Could it be that this comes about because it's an immature tree? I find it hard to believe that they are cut by insects but ... By the way, pau-brasil was designated the national tree of Brazil, by law-6.607 on December o7, 1978.

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