Thursday, February 12, 2009

Orchid Tree, Part 1

There are two main varieties of orchid trees around here. We have the less common and, to be fair, probably the less attractive variety planted in our side yard. It has never seemed quite happy there, and yet I dote on it more than any other plant in the yard. It is skinny and spindly, with ragged and spotted leaves.

The state of Florida has recently classified this tree as a "pest" plant--and that's too damn bad. My in-laws bought the tree for me after my mom passed away a couple years ago, so it has special significance, whether it cooperates with me or not.

Last summer Cheryl and I were leaving the house with some friends, on our way to dinner, and we heard a crash in the side yard. A huge limb had broken off of an oak tree and it landed right on top of the skinny orchid tree and squashed it flat, its poor trunk bent all the way to the ground. My friend and I grabbed an ax and chopped at the oak branch, rushing around in the rain (and no doubt looking very masculine), until the orchid tree popped loose and, to my amazement, stood back up straight again.

While most orchid trees in town have been blooming for a while, ours is just now sending out little buds. It belongs to the Bauhinia genus; I'm still not sure about the species, but this late-blooming is one thing that sets it apart. More on this later, when the blooms come out.

I hope our friends (the ones who recently had a death in the family) don't forget that they promised to let us get them a tree. Remember?

1 comment:

  1. yes, we remember ... just have to agree on where to put it