Standing tall, the bulbous chartreuse trunks, studded with spikes - the Floss-Silk tree's prehistoric appearance would be foreboding if it wasn't for the tantalizing halo of gargantuan day glow pink hibiscus-like flowers.
I love trees- however- this one, aka Chorisa Speciosa is not one- I would climb. Not with that impaler trunk. It has a stubborn shallow root system- this is not a tree to argue with as it gets larger. It does not belong within 15 feet of a foundation or driveway you don't want lifted.
It was perfect placement that its beauty is usually appreciated from afar. It is planted at the rear of the lot. There it is the first signal to the monarchs to fly this garden corridor.The tree was a gift from my mother's garden. It came here in a decomposing whiskey barrel when she sold her home of forty years. When our oldest son graduated from college. Between job interviews, we paid him to extend the irrigation system to the undeveloped canyon past the chainlink fence which slows down wayward skunks, fox and bobcats to our more proper garden. He was pleased to have the work. It meant he would be able to save up faster for the Diamond Ring to put on his college sweetheart's finger.
That was over six years ago. Many things have changed.
But every time I see that tree bloom I am reminded of the deep love for nature and for gardens my family shares.
I think of the movement towards native plantings. I understand the sentiment. Still: more of our ancestors were immigrants than natives. The diversity in our bloodlines and blending of cultures within the family is at times is a bit challenging- still, it is interesting and healthy.
Why wouldn't it be that way with plants also? As long as my monarchs and hummingbirds and scrub jays are happy with the new introductions- so am I. This immigrant tree whose bloodlines started in South America is welcome in my garden.