Monday, May 3, 2010

Empress Tree

REMEMBER the seed pods we found back in the autumn, which when shook, created a percussive maracas-like instrument? After some research, I identified them as the seeds of the royal empress tree. I had never seen these before - actually not even heard of them. Now that we know what to look for, we see them everywhere! They have large, lime green, heart-shaped leaves. But in the spring, empress trees make their presence most obviously known through their flowers. Fragrant and beautiful, they decorate many a garden and road. When they fall, these trumpet-shaped purple blooms are sticky to the touch. Emma loves to gather them and try to make them stick to her clothes.

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