Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gymnocladus chinensis...Wouldn't you just like to live under this tree?

There's just something about compound leaves. And these are huge and healthy and lush and well-defined; there's a symmetry to this plant that I don't feel in say, Albizia or the native Coffeetree, Gymnocladus dioicus. I love the native tree, particularly its pods. I actually have a box of them sitting next to me on the desk, but the tree overall has a sort of a spare appearance, like a Black Walnut or a Robinia.

This Chinese tree is not especially accessible in the literature; sources I found suggest it's a USDA Zone 9 plant but it does live here in China Valley so that can't be right. There seems to be an inherent conservatism in the initial appraisals of hardiness. Better safe than sorry? Anyway it would be nice to be able to step outside and see the world through these leaves.

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