Monday, February 28, 2011

Colour of Spring: African Tulip

Spring has made a powerful statement with the African Tulips blooming all over. This flowering tree is known as Spathodea Campanulata (The buds are Spathe or ladle shaped and the flowers are bell shaped). The bud contains water and if squeezed, the water squirts out. That is why it is called the Squirt Tree or Syringe tree.

The water is clear to the eye, but has a salty and mineral taste. The bell shaped flowers are upward pointing, hence the water is retained till the flowers drop down.Possibly in dry areas it provides water to birds and small life forms. This tree is also monotypic without any relatives.

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