Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ipê wood, continued

In that same area where we cut the small ipê trees (Tabebuia serratifolia) for tool handles, I discovered even a smaller tree. The leaves are easy to recognize, so I can say with certainty that the are a lot of ipê seeds germinating on the grounds of the Bosque. Then too, the trees are very prolific in terms of the large yellow trumpet-shaped flowers and subsequent seed pods. The seeds, themselves, are the "winged" types, which fly off like butterflies in all directions. Both the flowering and seed dispersal take place during our dry season when we have strong easterly trade winds roaring over the highlands. This large forest tree should not be confused with the many decorative ipê trees found on the streets of Santarém. The big yellow flowers look to be the same but the physical attributes of the trees are quite different.

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