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A flower with only one petal.

April 18, 2011

Mai makhaa (Afzelia xylocarpa, Fabaceae) is a famous wood for making floors and furniture in Thailand. Its burgundy red wood has made large trees rare in Thailand, and the last few specimens will soon be gone in Laos and Burma. A massive gigantic tree is an impressive sight, worthy the Spartan army in strength and endurance. In a previous blog I discussed its peculiar stone-hard seeds that resemble gun bullets. If you ask the Thai locals about the flowers of this native tree, most will patiently explain it has no flowers.

Personally I find the flowers of mai makhaa quite attractive. In fact, the first ones ever produced at Dokmai Garden emerged yesterday on some four year old rods. I was very excited, and so I spent a lot of time on a ladder simply adoring our new attraction. Love and respect!

It is a Happy New Year!

Eric Danell

A mai makhaa flower has only one red petal and four green sepals. There are 7-8 fertile stamens and three rudimentary infertile stamens. This is a sight rarely seen, because the tree is uncommon and because the flowers are normally displayed high up in a tree. Welcome to Dokmai Garden to see the small wonders of nature.

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