Two From The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden lake with palm trees

The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is one of a select few in the US where tropical plants can be grown outside all year round. The garden is built around a series of lakes and a collection of palm trees and many of its vistas are superb. 

HeyJude prompted my first picture by suggesting we look for a blue seaside or harbour view. While the lake does not exactly fit the brief, it has that getaway spirit and it’s certainly blue.

Meanwhile, Becky is asking for trees and I’m offering one of the many unusual ones we saw at the Fairchild garden.

Kigelia africana seems to have long thin aerial roots
Kigelia africana: sausage tree

Used to British trees, I was not sure what I was seeing. This tree had many strong, slender stems, like aerial roots, that hung vertically down, almost reaching the ground. Or was that some kind of vine clambering through its branches? A few gourd-like fruits hung from the stems high in the canopy.

Luckily, the Fairchild takes its educational mission seriously, so I was able to solve the mystery by searching online. Kigelia africana produces spectacular, hooded crimson flowers that dangle on the ends of these long stems. Opening at night, the blooms are pollinated by bats lured in to drink their nectar. The flowers are followed by heavy sausage-like fruit that dry to grey-brown.

The sausage tree reminded me of the candle tree we saw at the Fruit and Spice Park, also in Florida.

Few British people can expect to visit the US any time soon, thanks to what Mike Ryan, the WHO’s head of emergencies, has described as ‘epidemiological stupidity’, so this takes its place in my pictures for dreaming series.

 

13 Replies to “Two From The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden”

  1. ‘epidemiological stupidity’, isn’t that just so sad? I am currently in debates with Facebook friends over vaccines. It’s just a no-brainer for someone old enough to remember polio, mumps, smallpox, measles, whooping cough. Stupid doesn’t even quite cover it. (Needless to say everyone in my household is vaccinated.)

    1. I’m very grateful to have been able to have the vaccination. It’s reckless and cruel in my opinion to drop legal obligations to wear masks in enclosed public spaces such as transport and shops for political reasons while infections are rising so quickly.

  2. Two lovely photos and both with beautiful blues. I love the sound of a sausage tree, I don’t like the sound of ‘epidemiological stupidity’.

    1. Thanks, Jude. You’d hope we’d have learned that having to wear a mask to protect ourselves and others in a shop or on a train in the middle of an epidemic isn’t the end of the world.

    1. There actually is at least one sausage, but it isn’t exactly sausage shaped and if you’re using a phone you might need a magnifying glass to spot it. It’s more like a long gourd.

  3. oh what a fabulous set of squares – loving the tree. So intriguing.

    Also thought ‘epidemiological stupidity’ sums up our government’s decisions perfectly, really hope we all can stay safe and sane over the coming weeks and months

  4. My guess is that a lot of us are going to glom on to that phrase “epidemiological stupidity.” How sadly accurate. I know that the photos aren’t as good as being there, but they are very close, and beautiful dreams. That water mirror in the top photo is wonderfully calming. And a sausage tree? Nature never fails to amaze.

    1. The area in the top picture is used for weddings. We don’t see that happening as much here, probably because the weather is more unpredictable.

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