6.12.2019

The Simple Beauty Of The Philippines

The Simple Beauty Of The Philippines



Dendobrium - white orchid

My wife cultivates myriad orchids and other flowers. I have commissioned our daughter to document them all and these are just a few:

Tecoma stans - yellow trumpet bush


Bougainvillea - red


Dendobrium - lavender orchid


Allamanda cathartica -golden trumpet


Bougainvillea- orange


Vanda tessellata - coral orange

My wife brought some seeds from the United States and among them she had valo verde:




Our palo perde tree grew to be very big and beautiful within just a handful of years and we were proud of it because it is a rarity in the Philippines.

The palo verde (Parkinsonia microphylla) is similar to the roma trees (Acacia farnesiana) that we use for a barrier thicket on our land. Both trees are believed to have originated from Central America.

The large thorns make the palo verde a dangerous tree to tangle with:


I spent many days trimming our roma trees last year and I still have a few scars to prove it. Roma are better than a fence or a wall, because no one in their right mind would dare attempt to climb over roma. 

Pride turned to sadness when we went out on our patio one morning and saw that our palo verde tree had fallen over:


At first I thought that the rains had uprooted it, but instead it had broken off at the base of the trunk due to its own weight.

In the process of removing the tree I found that the ground was infested with a species of mushroom called dead man's fingers. The fungus had weakened the trunk of the palo verde tree.

Months before the tree fell our daughter had photographed the mushrooms growing at the base of the tree:

Xylaria polymorpha growing at base of palo verde tree

It is amazing that a fungus can be so beautiful:

Xylaria polymorpha growing amid rocks



These fungi appear to be Xylaria polymorpha. These were the giveaway that our palo verde tree was doomed. The dead man's finger is nourished by rotting and dead trees. The roma was able to adapt over untold centuries, but our poor palo verde hadn't the time.

I spent the day chopping up the fallen palo verde with a bolo knife and today it lives on as a support structure for some of my wife's orchids:


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