Nature WOW at the Botanical Garden of Naples | New
Spring arrived on March 20 and already Marco’s landscape is teeming with bloomers in early spring. Members of the Sunshine Sisters of Marco took to the Naples Botanical Garden as their first group outing since COVID and they couldn’t wait to celebrate the joys of spring in the garden!
In southwest Florida, most early spring blooms are at their peak, such as the Golden Trumpet Tree with its showy yellow trumpet-shaped flowers covering its canopy. With a light breeze, a rain of yellow tubular flowers falls to the ground.
The golden trumpet (Tabebuia aurea pronounced Tah-beh-boo-yah) is a very showy tree and present in abundance in the Botanical Garden of Naples. It is a native of Brazil and the official flower of Brazil – they come in pink or light purple, golden is most gorgeous during flowering. They’re also called the “silver trumpet” tree for the color of its leaves, but it’s definitely the flowers that make you stop and take a picture.
The Floss Silk Tree (Chorisia speciosa) or Silk floss or Kapok Tree is another tree with a very large WOW factor although it is not in bloom on this visit. This tree is considered one of the ten most beautiful trees in the WORLD! And almost all visitors to the Garden are drawn to its trunk!
The Floss Silk Tree attracts attention from top to bottom. At first glance, you are drawn to its thick trunk dotted with large gray thorns and you want to touch it! And for the young imagination, perhaps it was used as a medieval weapon.
Why does the Floss Silk Tree have thorns all over its trunk? This is how nature protects the tree. According to experts, in their native South America, monkeys and other animals find flower buds and young fruits a tasty treat, and the large thorns are used to discourage animals from climbing the tree or to prevent animals from chewing on it. bark. Although the monkeys with prehensile tails would simply swing from the branch of a nearby tree to reach for the fruit, thus avoiding the thorns.
But nature wanted the thorns to protect the trunk and thin bark of this amazing tree. It’s probably not a good choice to build a treehouse on it!
Its second WOW factor is the large, showy pink flowers that cover the entire canopy – and just like the Golden Trumpet, the Floss Silk Tree drops most of its leaves just before flowering, making it a very spectacular display. From afar, you are drawn to this tree for its large pink hibiscus-shaped flowers.
The third WOW factor is the pear-shaped pods it produces after flowering and which hang noticeably from its bare branches. The pods are filled with fluffy white silk encrusted with seeds, which makes it unique in nature – and which gives this tree its namesake of Floss Silk or Silk Floss.
The fluffy silk thread inside the pod was once used to stuff pillows, parkas, and even mattresses before the advent of synthetic padding materials. On a windy day, you will find tufts of silk floating from the tree.
The fourth WOW factor is that the Floss Silk Tree is a talking point for all garden visitors. Whether it is in flower or not, the spiky trunk, bare tops with dangling pods make people stop, touch its trunk, look up, and ask questions.
This tree is native to Argentina and Brazil but is cultivated in many tropical regions such as southern California and Florida. On Marco Island we have several of the silk silk trees at Calusa Park. The silk silk tree blooms in the fall around October and November.
A visit to the Botanical Garden of Naples offers WOW factors of plants from around the world of varying sizes, including an amazing collection of orchids and bromeliads.
In the garden: “Through nature, God speaks”, by Danielle Suzanne Rust.