Thursday, September 14, 2006

The "Gringo" Tree, in Chacala

Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simarbua) Or the "Gringo Tree",
because of its peeling red bark, as in a peeling sunburn

I am discovering how hard it is to take photos of large trees. There are several landmark trees in Chacala. One in the churchyard, and the others are at the corner where the paved road goes toward the ocean. There are actually two beautiful trees at that corner, and everyone knows which trees you mean when you mention them.

One of the trees at the turn in the paved road is a Huanacaxtle ( or Parota), which I have posted about previously. The other is the the Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simaruba). It has a lovely, graceful shape and a distinctive red bark. Very pretty tree, even when it's leaves have fallen during the dry season.
My source book, "Ornamental Plants and Flowers in Tropical Mexico" says this tree is in the same family as the incenses myrrh and frankincense. The books also says it's easy to start by sticking a branch in the ground. I am going to try it this afternoon.
The tree in the Churchyard is another Huanacaxtle. It is a huge tree, and it shades the entire Churchyard. The large church bell hangs from a branch of that tree, as do pinatas during various fiestas. It must be a very, very, old tree. People use the giant roots protruding from the earth as benches during Mass and other events. Apparently it was damaged during the 2002 Hurricann Kenna, but it still looks good, in my uneducated opinion. The Church is to the right.

No comments: