Thursday, October 17, 2013


While we were in Auckland over the last couple of weeks, we frequently noted trees with strongly pink leaves scattered around the city.  They were quite striking, and stood out wherever we saw them.

By chance I met a lady at the zoo - where there were several of these trees - and, since apparently she knew something about trees, I asked her if she knew what the name of these trees were.  She said she thought they were called a Chinese Toom Tree.  I may have misheard her, because in fact they're called Chinese Toon Trees.  She made the interesting comment that while the trees are striking when they're pink, they're almost unnoticeable once the pinkness goes, and they revert to a much more common green.

Seemingly these trees are well-known in many parts of the world, and quite apart from their colour, their wood is useful for furniture, and their leaves for medicinal purposes.

Curiously, neither of the Wikipedia articles I looked at mentioned their wonderful colouring. Yet that seems to me to be their greatest feature. Obviously those who wrote the articles thought in terms of practical uses. I tend to think, as I so often do, in the purely un-useful: therefore it's the appeal to the eye that I found most interesting.

I don't know whether they grow here in Dunedin, but if they do, I'd love to have one!

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