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Answers to the Tree ID Quizzes

12 July 2014    Idea of the Day  “A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.”  G. Gordon Liddy

Did anybody identify more than two or three of the items I’ve had on quizzes for identification?

My June 21 blog entitled “Mystery Quiz – Name That Tree!” had no winners although there were a few guesses.  You almost need to be from the southeast US to recognize it.  Those oval smooth-edged leaves are from the black gum, also called the black tupelo.  This tree, Nyssa sylvatica, is usually found around or in swampy land, has a big broad vase-like trunk base and beautiful red leaves in autumn.  Although a non-commercial grade of honey can be acquired from it, it is not valued or often used.  This is NOT the rare, super-high quality Tupelo Honey from the southeastern Georgia, northern Florida swamps that comes from its cousin the white tupelo, Nyssa ogeche, which Van Morrison sang of so classically “She’s as sweet as Tupelo Honey . . . ” http://youtu.be/Eq3YLhtuzTQ.  But the black tupelo is a nice variety in central and northern Florida swamps all the way up to Virginia and as west as Louisiana.

In the July 4th blog with Florida summer flowering trees, nobody wrote in any winning ID on these either but I’m sure many of you got at least a few of them. 

#1 of course is the crape myrtle, Natchez variety – probably the largest and most commonly seen variety in central Florida, sometimes seen as tall as 30 ft !

#2 as you could see when hovering over is the beautiful mid-summer Yellow Poinciana.   Mature trees get as large as oaks and their yellow blooms can be seen for miles in July and August !

#3 is its cousin the Dwarf Poinciana which only gets 12 to 15 ft. high but is still beautiful with its red and golden flowers.

#4 is a mid-summer late remnant of the purple Jacaranda flowers which are most strong during April to May.

#5 is the gorgeous Royal Poinciana another from the poinciana family and this one is drop-dead beautiful.  It is most commonly seen in South Florida but there are examples around Central Florida that dot the landscape with brilliant red from June to July.  Its five petal flower has a fifth petal which isn’t red like the others, but is a beautiful paisley print on a white background.  Whoever created this flower design was a very creative artist!

#6 is the Goldenrain tree  Koelreuteria paniculata that is light, bright yellow in September and then changes colors like a chamelion to the salmon red you see as the backdrop to my blog heading. It’s also known for the jadera bugs it attracts – harmless but strange looking black and red bugs that like its seeds. You can see it here http://bugs.ufl.edu/portfolio/jadera-bug/

#7 is the standard-sized Schefflera. I’ve seen the red fruit stalks already in bloom in early July this year!

#8 is the beautiful White Geiger tree.  It also has a beautiful red-orange variety, but this one is striking in its own right and sometimes will flower for months at a time.

#9 is a Washingtonian fan palm,  also called a Mexican fan palm, its fall flower stalks in full bright orange-red bloom.

#10a is a summer occurrence and #10b is what it looks like for two weeks in February, early March.  This is the semi-tropical Pink Tabebuia, Tabebuia impetiginosa,also called the Pink Trumpet tree or in the Caribbean simply the Ipe tree.  In full bloom, especially when hit by sunlight, it just knocks you out driving down the street!   It has a cousin the Yellow Tabebulia or Yellow Trumpet which has a similarly shaped flower but coarser leaves which is usually smaller but equally striking in early spring. 

#11 is the stunning Silk Floss tree, Ceiba speciosa, a cousin of the kapok tree.  In summer it grows big bunches of floss which used to be used in life preservers and cushions.  Around October in Florida, all its leaves fall off but the pink to lavender flowers all come out in a glorious array.  It’s native to the rainforests of South America. 

I left out a few Central Florida flowering trees I would have liked to have included – like the Purple Glory tree (late summer) and the Silk Cotton tree (bright red in spring) which are two more trees that are just stunning when in bloom.
Hope you enjoyed this little overview!