|Copyright: Lori Cannon (LCannon)
|Date Taken: 2005-06|
|Camera: Kodak Easyshare LS753|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2005-06-13 12:54|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|While on a horse trek in the Sierra Madre Mountains near Las Palmas Mexico I commented on this unusual tree. Our tourguide Daniel laughed and said "That's YOUR tree!....the 'Gringo Tree'" I immediately saw the point since that is what I would probably look like at the end of the day, red, sunburnt and peeling!! |
I managed to avoid the sunburn, plenty of sunscreen! but got a good laugh at the "Gringo Tree"
I'm still trying to find what the "Real" name of this tree is, when I find it I'll post that.
UPDATEI found the name of this tree finally after searching for a long time.
It's the Gumbo-Limbo Tree: Bursera simaruba
Family: Burseraceae (torchwood or gumbo-limbo family)
Common Names: gumbo-limbo, West Indian birch, tourist tree
The red peeling bark resembles sunburned skin thereby inspiring giving it another common name: the tourist tree.
Gumbo-limbo is a medium sized fast-growing tree, that can attain height of 20-50 ft (6.1-15.2 m). It has pinnately compound (featherlike) leaves and attractive reddish bark that peels away in thin flakes to reveal a smooth and sinuous gray underbark. The tree's massive trunk is 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m) in diameter and supports huge irregular branches and a spreading, rounded crown. The leaves are 4-8 in (10.2-20.3 cm) long and have 3-7 oval or elliptic leaflets, each 1-2 in (2.5-5.1 cm) long. Semi-deciduous gumbo-limbo loses all its leaves in early spring just before the new leaves appear. The tree blooms in winter, producing small inconspicuous flowers composed of 3-5 greenish petals arranged in elongate racemes (spikelike clusters with each flower on its own stem). Staminate (male), pistillate (female), and perfect (both) flowers usually occur on a single tree. The dark red elliptic fruits are about a 0.5 in (1.3 cm) long and take a year to mature. Fallen gumbo-limbo trees resprout with suckers and sometimes form thickets. The wood is light-weight, light in color, soft and brittle.
The torchwood family, with some 600 species in 15 genera, includes the Old World trees that yield the important incenses, myrrh and frankincense
Gumbo-limbo is used as a living fencepost wherever it occurs. Haitians make drums from the trunk of gumbo-limbo. A resin obtained from the trunk and bark is called chibou, cachibou or gomart in the West Indies, and is used to make glue, varnish, water repellent coatings and incense. The resin smells a little like turpentine. The fruits are eaten by several kinds of birds. The soft wood is easily carved.
Photo: Levels, Resized, SHarpened.
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