Monday, June 7, 2010

The Nilgiris Dioica Tree

This is the tree I have been doing yoga under, and I am in love with it. The sign on the tree says it is a Nilgiris Dioica Tree. The genus listed took me to the Omnu from South America. This is how Wikipedia explains it.

The ombú is a massive evergreen herb native to the Pampas of South America. The tree has an umbrella-like canopy that spreads to a girth of 12 to 15 meters (40 to 50 feet) and can attain a height of 12 to 18 meters (40 to 60 feet). The ombú grows fast but being herbaceous its wood is soft and spongy enough to be cut with a knife. Because of this, it is also used in the art of bonsai, as it is easily manipulated to create the desired effect. Since the sap is poisonous, the ombú is not grazed by cattle and is immune to locusts and other pests. For similar reasons, the leaves are sometimes used as a laxative or purgant. It is a symbol ofUruguay and Argentina, and of Gaucho culture, as its canopy is quite distinguishable from afar and provides comfort and shelter from sun and rain. The fireproof trunk also stores water for the large fires.The tree is categorized in the same genus as the North American pokeweed. The species is also cultivated in Southern California as a shade tree.

It is my understanding that the Taj Hotel was originally lodging for the monks at the very old All Saints Church next door and that some of these exotic trees were planted then.

These are spider plants someone planted around the base of the tree. Isn't that gorgeous?

See how branches that look like roots grow up out of the bigger branches? It's like an upside down banyan tree.

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