Horizon at Sandy Point

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cassia grandis reprise

Cassia grandis - tall, leafy, sheltering
Three cassia grandis trees planted eight years ago now tower above the house. The branches and leaves define the view from the porch screening out dust, light and direct sun. Cassia grandis is a forest tree. Tiny flowers are borne in heavy clumps along the branches, and in quick time transform into heavy pods known as "stinking toe." As they ripen and open, they exude a faint smell of carrion, which doesn't phase the corbeaux but had me wondering for a week if something had died in the bush.

Flowering cassia grandis

Heavy pods crash and break open
In a long dry season, the pods hang around on the tree. It takes a a prolonged period of wet weather - heavy intermittent showers such as we have had this year - to ripen and open the pods. The seeds germinate quickly and seedlings grow directly out of the damp pods.

I am sweeping up the pods that have crashed on the driveway - each heavy as a policeman's bootoo! It's not a hardship pushing the wide broom and then scooping up the decaying leaves with the slimy white seeds that have burst out of the dark pods. Takes me back to other days sweeping dust bunnies under beds, sweeping sand in beach houses, clearing cobwebs. Trees do that - clear cobwebs from muddled heads. How simple it would be to live the way a tree does, effortlessly putting out leaves, flowers and fruit in all directions, just reaching for the sun!

Cassia grandis seedlings

Seedlings growing out of the cracked pod

It is so easy to miss the trees when you are in an office all day. Make the extra effort to look around to see what's flowering, when they are flowering and what fruits emerge - even if you can't eat them!

Perfumed blossoms of ylang ylang

Sheltering canopy of almond tree


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