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Makha in blossom

March 20, 2012

Last year we had blossom of the hardwood tree Afzelia xylocarpa (Fabaceae) on April 17. This year it began a month earlier! Maybe the blooms were postponed last year due to the early rains? The tree is called ‘ton makha’ in Central Thai language. In English it is often referred to as a redwood or rosewood. Both names are hopeless because such names are applied on so many other species from anywhere in the world. I should stick to the Thai and the scientific name to make sure what we are talking about. Our flowering sapling is alone. Another specimen, at least three times taller, has never been in blossom, nor have the other saplings (at least ten). I guess genetic diversity results in different rates of maturity. Most welcome to Dokmai Garden to see this peculiar flower from one of the world’s most beautiful woods (burgundy red colour).

Eric Danell

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