Friday, August 27, 2010

The golden years

A Golden Shower tree in full bloom. I borrowed this image from They allow use of their images as long as their copyright is included and for non-commercial use.
The Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula) is an ornamental tree which is a wonder to behold when in bloom. The flowers are profuse, covering almost the entire tree when in full bloom. The clusters of yellow flowers are attached to a main stem which hangs gracefully from the limbs of the tree.

This plant is a member of the Favaceae family and thus is considered a legume. Its seeds are encased in a pod just like peas and beans but unlike those of its relatives, they are not edible even though the pods look like sausages.

There are so many online literatures and blog entries about Cassia Fistula so I won't be writing much about it, otherwise I'll just repeat what others have already mentioned. I think the brief description I wrote is suffice to paint a general picture of how beautiful this tree is.

A Golden Shower 'seedling' growing near the edge of a cliff. The ground below is still part of the farm. From there one can jump at the brink to the river below it.

Another young Golden Shower tree. The visible ground beyond is not part of the farm.

Mom grew our Golden Shower Trees from seeds that she bought over a year ago. The seedlings were first grown in the nursery and transplanted to their current location before the onset of the dry season. With extra care they survived the beating brought by the extremely dry months that followed. It's a good thing this plant is a relatively fast grower. They are now over a couple of feet tall, some are already thick and bush-like in appearance.

Another young Golden Shower tree.

Because the terrain of the farm (or garden) is uneven, some of the trees were planted near the edge of a ledge or at the top of some steep slopes to help stabilize the ground and hopefully this will prevent or minimize soil erosion like the one that happened late last year. Others were scattered all over the garden in other strategic locations.

This Golden Shower tree (foreground) grows at the edge of the original garden which is adjacent to our humble abode.

I wonder when our young Cassia Fistula trees will start to bloom. Do they need to reach a certain age? Do they need to grow to a certain height first? These are some question which will be answered only when gorgeous yellow flowers begin to adorn the trees. Until then all I can do is wait. Hopefully I don't need to wait till I reach my golden years.