Tag Archives: trees

Like other deciduous larches, the subalpine larch, Larix lyallii, sheds its needles each year. The trees make a grand show up there near the treeline, with their yellow needles and often twisted form. Further down the mountains, they tend to be taller and grow straighter. Fresh new twigs have single needles, whereas older twigs have clusters of needles growing from a little raised knot along the twig. Cones are spherical with long bracts extending out past each scale, giving the cones a shaggy appearance. These trees grow along with their very close and very similar relative, Larix occidentalis, in the upper Rocky Mountains and Cascade range in the northwestern United States and nearby regions of Canada.

Larix lyallii subalpine alpine larch northwest canada united states trees treeline mountains deciduous needles

The Gymnosperm Database
The Wild Garden
Burke Museum
Virginia Tech

Native Americans used the peeling bark of the paper birch, Betula papyrifera, as a waterproof covering or even container (such as a drinking cup or ladle). This hardy tree forms beautiful stands of white-bark trees from the southeast United States, across to Alaska. It is absent from the southwest, but extends far north into Canada. The serrated edge leaves appear alternate on the branches — or in groups of 2 or 3. In the spring, the dangling male catkins are about 3 inches long, female about half that length. The tree produces winged fruits in late summer or early autumn.

Betula papyrifera paper birch peeling white bark north america

What Tree Is It?
Illinois Wildflowers
KEW Botanical Gardens
Missouri Botanical Garden

The Ohio Buckeye, Aesculus glabra, is one of a couple dozen different species of horse chestnut tree. It grows up to about 80 feet tall and is native to the Eastern United States. The five-finger (palmately compound) leaves are nearly as famous in its region as its poisonous, shiny brown nuts. Although the nuts cannot be eaten, they have been used to tan leather (high tannin content) or are dried and strung as beads on a necklace. The name “Buckeyes” is given to all inhabitants of the state of Ohio, along with its state university sports teams. There is also a special candy made of peanut butter dipped in chocolate with a little ring of gold left uncovered at the top — made to resemble the buckeye nut. The Ohio Buckeye is the state tree of Ohio, and the name buckeye comes from one of the area’s early explorers being dubbed “Eye of the Buck” by local Native Americans.

ohio buckeye tree nuts leaves garden north america midwest Aesculus glabra horsechestnuts

Virginia Tech
Missouri Botanical Garden
LBJ Wildflower Center
What Tree is it?

The honey locust tree, Gleditsia triacanthos, is easily identified by its combination of thorns, long narrow compound leaves, and long curly seedpods. Found in the eastern United States, this species is actually a legume, in the family Fabaceae. Its long seedpods resemble beans and peas, which are more familiar legumes. Honey locust pods start out green and eventually turn crisp and dark brown, growing up to about 7 inches long. The pods are sometimes eaten by livestock, which digest the pulp and excrete the seeds. Thorns are found on both the trunk and branches of this tree species, again starting out green, but then turning red, and eventually grey. Leaves of honey locust are pinnately divided, similar to mesquite and acacia.

Gleditsia triacanthos honey locust tree eastern united states long curly seed pods thorns trunk

Encyclopedia of Life (pics!)
Images of Honeylocust (some closeups)
Cultivation Info
Detailed Species Info

Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is a flowering shrub or small tree native to China and Korea and cultivated widely in the southeastern United States, Australia, and elsewhere. It has one of the longest flowering seasons, up to 4 months of brilliant summer flowers. There are several varieties of this plant, many which are named after Native American tribes. The flowers can be white, purple, red, or a wide variety of pinkish colors.

crepe crape myrtle lagerstroemia indica flowering bush shrub tree south east china korea native introduced usa cultivated

FloriData
VirginiaTech
NC State Extension
Burke’s Backyard
LA at Home

The silk floss tree, Ceiba speciosa, is related to baobob and kapok trees and features the family’s swollen trunk. Not only does it have huge showy flowers up to 6 inches across, but its bark is covered in spikelets that hold water. As if it weren’t unique enough already, when young the trunk of this tree is green with chlorophyll, performing some of the photosynthesis for the plant. With age, the trunk turns grey.

Watch the nearly silent video tour of a silk floss tree, and click the links below the video to learn more — including how it got its name!

Wikipedia
Top Tropicals (*nice pics!)
FloriData

Silk Floss Tree

Click the pic to find out how this plant came back from the dead!

cafe marron ramosmania rodriguesii threatened endangered tree shrub plant species wild coffee

More on this endangered species:
Arkive
iNaturalist

This is one of the most famous individual trees in the world.
Nicknamed “The Tree of Life“, it stands alone in the desert without any detectable source of water.

tree of life bahrain mesquite old alone isolated lonely desert prosopis cineraria species specimen wonder asia

Find out more:
Amusing Planet
Trip Advisor
World Top Top

Who doesn’t see this tree and think: AFRICA? Do you picture lions lazing about beneath its shady boughs?
What used to be called Acacia tortilis has recently been updated to Vachellia tortilis, the Acacia genus being split into more genetically appropriate divisions.
No matter, the Umbrella Thorn Acacia Tree will always be a symbol of the African savannah.

africa african tree umbrella thorn acacia tortilis vachellia classic picturesque savannah

Learn a little more about this classic species:
Siyabona Africa
Plantz Africa
Experiment: Tree Profile

The Yellow-Winged Bat — Lavia frons — forms a symbiotic relationship with a particular acacia tree in middle Africa, the notorious Umbrella Thorn Acacia, Acacia tortilis. Instead of flying out to pursue its insect prey, it roosts in the tree and during its waking cycle it moves about the branches, feeding on insects that would otherwise cause damage.

yellow winged bat cute sitting box nose ears cute lavia frons africa

More on the yellow-winged bat:
iNaturalist
Encyclopedia of Life
Animal Diversity Web

The thorns of acacias can grow so large that people use them to make dolls!
How crazy is that?! Awesomely creative! 😀

acacia thorns doll toys natural products seeds fun stuff diy

Acacia Trees
Acacia Trees and Shrubs

Acacia trees in Australia tend NOT to have thorns, while acacias everywhere else in the world usually DO have thorns!

acacia thorns leaves senegalia tree closeup branch spikey

Check out the SIZE of the amazing Jackfruit!
Can you imagine having this tree in your backyard?!

jack fruit jackfruit exotic artocarpus heterophyllus tree huge green

Find out more on this crazy fruit!
(also click the link or pic above)

The Dragon’s Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari)
can be found only on Socotra — four islands
off the horn of Africa, south of the Arabian Peninsula,
in the Indian Ocean.

dracaena cinnabari dragons blood tree socotra endemic crazy unique arid umbrella roots

Photo by Rod Waddington on Flickr