Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ipê tree in bloom

In the lumber business, ipê (Tabebuia sp) is considered one of the noble woods of the Amazon and it's quite expensive, even here in Brazil. The blooming tree you see in the image is an ipê, but not the one found in the high forest. It's one of the species used for decorating the streets of Santarém and other cities in the country. But the flowers seem to be the same as Tabebuia serratifolia, the yellow blooming ipê of the forest. There is also a purple blooming variety, but it isn't as common. There must be close to a dozen varieities of the decorative type. I've planted most of them at Bosque Santa Lúcia, but road machinery and power line construction have destroyed most of them. We are well into our dry season now, which means that the forest ipês will begin blooming soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was part of a committee searching for alternatives to pau-brasil for bow making. After testing scores of promising species from south and central america, the only timber that came close to pau-brasil was a tabebuia species from brasil. I thought it was T. serratifolia but the IBAMA lab in brasilia thought one sample was Tabebuia alba, also known as Ipe-tabaco, Ipe-amarelo, Ipe-da-serra and Pau-d’arco. A second sample was called Tabebuia ochacea, known in various regions as Ipe-amarello, Ipe-cerrado, Ipe-do-campo and Pau-d’arco do Campo. However One of the top wood identification experts in the country, Regis Miller, said he could not differentiate Tabebuias from the wood alone.