Posts Tagged ‘Flame Trees’

The flowers within and mountains beyond.

“I am large; I contain multitudes.” — Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

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When the rains come and the three African Tulip trees (Spathodea campanulata, Tulipán africano, Flame trees, Flame of the Forest) in my apartment complex begin blooming, even grey days are brightened.

As the name suggests, Tulipán africano are native to Africa and I was first captivated by them in the early 1980s when I watched the PBS series, The Flame Trees of Thika, based on the Elspeth Huxley memoir about her early years in Kenya.

Beginning the late 1800s, these ornamental beauties were introduced to other parts of the world — thriving and even becoming invasive in many areas of the tropics.

Bursting with brilliance and providing food and shelter to a multitude of hummingbirds battling for territory and mates, these creations of Mother Nature always beckon me to stop, gaze, and marvel.

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A razor wire (aka, concertina wire) frame for an African Tulip tree blossom.


The rainy season not only brings lush greens, it brings the brilliant red-orange of the Árbol de tulipán to Oaxaca.

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Late yesterday afternoon, before the rains came, the African tulip tree in full blush against a sky drained of color…

African tulip tree in full bloom

Half and Half on Mother Nature’s easel in Oaxaca.


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The African Tulip Trees (Árbol del tulipán) are in full leaf and bloom, adding an explosion of greens and red-orange to the view from Casita Colibrí…


… and providing the colibríes (hummingbirds), who give my apartment its name, a home, playground, and 4-star restaurant.

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Just before this afternoon’s rains came, Casita Colibrí’s first African tulip tree blossom of the season.Orange red African tulip tree blossom .

And that means, colibríes (hummingbirds) won’t be far behind!

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Way back in the very early 1980s, I was captivated by the PBS series, The Flame Trees of Thika, based on the Elspeth Huxley memoir, by the same name, about her early years in Kenya.

African Tulip tree reddish orange blossoms

We had a black and white TV back then and so, if they even showed the “Flame Trees,” they never “registered.

African Tulip tree reddish orange blossoms

However, here I am in Oaxaca, Mexico and I’ve got two African Tulip Trees (aka, Flame of the Forest) hovering over my terrace, bursting with color, providing a modicum of shade, feeding the hummingbirds, and adding to the enchantment of Casita Colibrí.

African Tulip tree reddish orange blossoms

There was something about the sky, the light, and the trees this morning…

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