Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The May Tree

I am wrapping up my tropics special for the year with a lot of little photo shoots I did on the side.  We spent the entire month of August in Panama and I didn't want to stray too long from the Tucson garden during my writing because the central theme is Tucson gardening.  I LOVE plants and it's my dream to learn as much as I can about them....even if they don't grow in Tucson.  Anytime we learn a new language, we tend to want to learn the slang expressions or words that stand out as funny.  Well the same goes for me when it comes to plants.  As we were heading to Isla Bastimentos, this tree stood out from the rest and caught my attention.  Known as the May Tree, it towers over the canopy of the rain forest appearing much like a broccoli sprout.
Caught in a rain storm, Steve, our host and landscape guru, gave me a book on tropical plants in the rain forest.  I hung out with candle light in my hammock as the rain just poured down.....and read.....and read.  So many trees.  So much biodiversity.  A rain forest can look the same because a lot of the leaves are similiar on trees as are the roots and bark.  My tropic friends are probably saying, "No no.  They don't look the same at all!"  And I understand your meaning.  If you came to the desert, you'd probably look at the cacti and think they were the same plant.....especially the Opuntia varieties!  It is my goal on trips to educate myself on different plants in different areas.  Here's what's really embarrassing.  I know NOTHING....ZILCH!!! about the plants that grow in my hometown of Two Rivers.  I can recognize a Maple tree but that's about it.  In college, my friends had to identify the 101 different pine trees in the forests and I boring!.  Yet today, I see the value in the activity.  I really know my desert plants and trees, but if I leave the area, it's like a whole new world!  So back to the tropics....
It's interesting to note that if you research a plant online, very little can sometimes be found.  Yet at the same time, there are so many resources out there for birders.  And for buttefly enthusiasts, it's hit or miss depending on the region you are visiting.  The May Tree, or what they call it on Isla Bastimentos and in the tropical trees book that I had been reading, has it listed as such because the tree generally flowers around the month of May into June.  However, while typing the name in both Spanish and English, I found nothing about this tree.  Could it be a nickname given to the tree for this area? Or is there another name out there? Either way, it's a beautiful tree.


  1. Such a beautiful canopy!
    The May tree has another signification in Europe and up to you to come and discover it one of these days. You will be welcome of course.


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