Monday, July 25, 2011

Tree of Heaven

There's an invasive tree growing everywhere and having lovely giant apple green pods that turn fleshy pink. It's called the Tree of Heaven or Ghetto Palm or Stink Tree. It was the tree that Betty Smith wrote about in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. And yes, it certainly does! All over Brooklyn!
Apparently it was brought over from China when Chinoiserie was all the rage. It's overly zealous ambitions to spread quickly made it unpopular as well as it's noxious odor which I thankfully have yet to experience- perhaps the trees I have encountered are all female( the male species emits a foul smell to attract insects for pollination). Needless to say the tree gets a formidably bad rap and deserves it but here the pods have been mixed with apple branches, dusty miller and garden roses in the company of other citrus lime/yellow parings. It's a nice cool summer mix calling to mind lemonade and lemon ices but it was the rain that ultimately made me happier today.