by germinatrix | May 20th, 2009
Down at the job site outside Merida, things are dry and dusty – but as we drove up I saw a glorious beauty had sprung up in our midst … one of the huge trees in the courtyard is a Delonix regia, or as they call it in the latin countries, the Flamboyan.
These amazing deciduous tropical trees flower before they leaf out, like Jacarandas. The sight of an avenue of them in full bloom must have given me a stroke, because I have no pictures of any of the hundreds I saw in Merida, save the ones on the job site. And these, while lovely, are not the best examples of the tree – they are struggling in a dry, hectic construction zone. But still, they bravely burst forth with whatever they have to give, and I am thrilled! When we get water on these babies, they will be GLORIOUS! Will you look how big the one in the first picture is?
Poking around, what do I spy? Another, smaller Flamboyan, cuddled up next to a Ceiba (another favorite tree of mine! Lucky me!). I walked over to investigate – I’d never seen these eye-singeing flowers close up.
Now, these trees are held in the highest regard all over the tropics. As I was explaining to pal ESP of the East Side Patch, people freak out over them. They talk about them, and their eyes slightly mist over. I wouldn’t be surprised if the flowers were used in some obscure fertility rite – I could see them adorning the body of a virgin before she was married to Xchtylquotyl (a Mayan God I just now made up).
The day was windy, so it was hard to get a good shot of these incredible blossoms – and if you’ll believe it, the color in person is way more saturated than in these photos.
I am so happy that we have some of these trees already on the property. I want more! I have room for more – so why not? Can you imagine dozens of these all flowering at once? (You wouldn’t have to imagine if I hadn’t gone into a fugue state and not snapped even one photo of the literally hundreds of these trees I saw).
The complexity of the flower is incredible. No wonder everybody goes crazy over the Flamboyan. It is pretty awe-inspiring, all this color and detail and sexiness. And the bipinnate leaves, all soft and feathery – oooo la la!
Delonix regia – just the kind of tree a girl can get behind!