Monday, January 23, 2006

Look at that tree


The Tower Tree or Tree-Fern
Schizolobium parahyba



Beautiful Tower Tree at dusk

“Look at this tree”, says the Tour Guide to a group of visitors. That was supposed to be the funniest joke. Only three people will see the sense of laughing over the phrase of “look at this tree”. That is my Senior Tour Guide, Kumar and my Outdoor Supervisor, Yoge.

A month earlier:

“Liza, I don’t know about this fella. He seemed not so sure of himself. He can’t even explain the garden properly to our visitors. A Tour Guide is supposed to make the visitors have interest about the garden with interesting explanation”, says Kumar.

“Oh, I know who the person you meant just now. I’ve encountered the same problem with him a few times that I never wanted to use him if I had important visitors. I was so disappointed because he was so quiet and he didn’t even help me explaining the garden. I was quite new at that time and you can imagine how difficult it was to explain the garden when you are not yet have the full knowledge and this fellow never bothered to fill me in. Kumar I think, you should give him further training. He’s not fluent with the garden yet and he’s very shy”. I told Kumar and he smiled over it while Yoge was surprised that I didn’t inform him earlier. He said he could’ve given me a better Tour Guide for my guests.

“Just now when we had our training session, he kept on asking everyone to take a look at the tree. Many times he kept on repeating the line without further explaining the purpose and lack of explanation makes it so uninteresting. I just don’t know what to say.” Kumar later imitated the line the poor Tour Guide was using during the session, i.e. to look at the tree.

We all cracked into big laughter and the line became so famous among the three of us sometimes we joked about it in the garden. Kumar used it many times. Now it’s his favourite line too. Again yesterday when we were touring the garden, he joked about it to me.

The next tree that I’d like to write about here is the Tower Tree or the Tree-Fern. So everyone… Take a look at those trees :)

Now, isn’t it amazing?

Yes. It is.

It’s majestically very tall and beautiful. The long stems shooting up the sky with single crown or sometimes two or three but it never branched like any other trees. It also looks like fern species because of its leaves. That is why it is also called the Tree-Fern. A combination of a tree and a fern but it is truly a tree. It fascinates me so much because whenever I go to that place where the tree grows, I feel like I am in another era; a dinosaur era to be exact; a time whereby this earth has very limited vegetation and a different one.

The scientific name for Tower Tree is Schizolobium parahyba, native to South America countries. It’s a tree that grows from beans. When it’s started to seed, the bean will fly away; gracefully it will spin down like a helicopter fan. Only good seeds will make perfect spin and be carried away to new terrain. Good wind will carry the spinning seeds to new grounds. That’s how plants like this got scattered around and reproduced. We always demonstrate this spinning seeds to our visitors.

I’ve been thinking of planting this Tower Tree at home (my parents’ of course) but have to think very carefully if it suits the garden. Surely it will look so out of place but I really like that tree. Just look at it. So beautiful and yet so simple a tree. Just like the dinosaur era.

Don’t you think so?

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