This lyrical piece on Sakura, Japan’s short, intensely beautiful spring season of cherry-tree flowering, the
‘blossom front’ that is monitored by the Japanese tourism agency and remarkable tradition of hanami or flower-viewing picnics, made me think of the Flamboyant tree.
During Sakura, writes Rebecca Giggs, “the cherries’ high, white foam pours through avenues that lead to shrines, into graveyards, over public lands, and then to the brink of rivers and lakes where great canopies of petals spread above koi fish the size of corncobs.”
Flamboyant trees don’t do that exactly but they stand against the sky fiery and aflame, passionately lighting up the horizon.
The Flamboyant (its Latin name is Delonix regia) isfound in Haiti and many Caribbean islands, as well as India (as the Gulmohar), much of South Asia, Africa, China, Vietnam, northern Australia, southern Braxil and Florida, the Rio Grande valley of south Texas and southern California in the United States.
The tree is truly flamboyant in its display of flowers and it is such a delight that I believe many Dominican and Puerto Rican paintings feature the Flamboyant Tree and it is the national flower of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Can you imagine a new tradition of Flamboyant viewing picnics?
(Tomorrow, Why Flamboyant tree-viewing picnics could be a necessary ‘green’ tool for Haiti)