Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pau Rosa II

The attached image is the inflorescence of the rosewood tree. I was lucky enough to come by three seedlings from friends at SUDAM and the oldest tree was flowering by three years of age. As reported in the previous post, the majority of the rosewood trees in the Amazon were cut in the 18th century. The essence (oil) of tree comes from the distillation of the wood. Just to show you how much the oil was worth, the industry returned to the jungles to harvest the trunks and roots of the trees. Sometimes visitors are anxious to get a smell of the rosewood fragrance by crushing leaves or breaking off small branches of the tree. Sorry, the tree needs to be at least 35 years old to produce that smell. In recent times there are reports that the leaves of the rosewood tree are sufficient to produce oil, thereby relieving the need to cut the tree. I'm not sure this is true but that's the report.

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