12 responses to “Tetradium glabrifolium”

  1. Douglas Justice

    I have the good fortune to have an office directly adjacent to the tree Dominic has so beautifully pictured and described. I often joke that I have to close my window because the buzzing is so loud. I reality, the myriad insects (there are also wasps and hover flies, as well as several kinds of bees) create an undulating sonic background hum that increases in intensity with sunshine. On cloudy days, the hum is barely audible.

    The tree is also a reminder of a memorable botanical trip to Taiwan that I participated in some years ago. In the island’s interior on a steep mountain road, our group passed by a huge specimen of T. glabrifolium in fruit. Birds were busily hopping around in the crown plucking the shiny black seeds. On my way back down the hill, I was alone (I must have been dawdling, looking at plants) and I apparently spooked the birds away from the tree. As I stood looking up into the crown, I noticed a continuous, subtle, pop-pop-pop emanating from the top of the tree. The sound was like so many bubbles popping, but it was the tiny capsular fruits opening with the heat of the sun.

    The tree in Botanical Garden will likely never bear fruits as it produces its flowers so late in the year (and probably needs cross pollination for fruit set), so I’ll have to settle for the sound of bees and an absence of mosquitoes.

    1. Tobi Fenton

      Doug, I love your evocative description of the seed capsules popping like tiny bubbles. What a glorious sound for which to dawdle in the forest.

      Dominic, gorgeous photos. I also appreciate your description of the intense hum of bees in the sun. It reminds me of the massive linden trees at Kew Gardens that were vibrating with insects on the day of our visit and drew us from 50 meters away to see what the droning was. We should have guessed from the fragrance!

  2. Bonnie

    Pretty neat view point Daniel. 🙂

  3. Wendy Cutler

    Bonnie, these are Dominic Janus’s photos.

    Hmm, yellow anthers, or pollen anyway. In 2012, I was so surprised to see the pink anthers on Eric La Fountaine’s photos. That certainly helped to find the open flowers. http://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/threads/korean-evodia-bee-bee-tree-tetradium-daniellii.76202/#post-304015

  4. Eric La Fountaine

    Dominic’s talent and experience photographing birds produces great images of bees as well. The use of light is captivating and the last shot of leaf with silhouette is wonderfully artistic. (I am sure many will initially think these are Daniel’s photos.)

    Thank you Dominic. The write up is excellent as well.

  5. alphabetjohn

    I could contemplate the photo with the leaf shadows on the leaf for a decade or two. WOW! Thank you!

  6. Jonathan

    I had always thought T. danielii’s name of bee bee tree to derive the small, hard, spherical fruits — like bee bees

  7. Wendy

    So arresting. The honey bee looks as if she‘s made of molten honey. There is no more soporific noise than that reassuring hum. The pictures are a visual treat. Thank you!

  8. Laurel Slaney

    alphabetjohn is so right, that leaf with shadows is a work of art.

  9. Dianne Saichek

    Yes, Jonathan…funny how a name elicits that association. I’m writing from California (Bay Area) and we’re suffering very smoggy air from the fires to the north. These pristine pics and reminders of the beauty and value of trees, bees, air, bbs, popping bubbles, and the eloquent botany community are making it easier for me to breathe. Thank you, Dominic, Daniel, all commenters!

  10. Nette

    Amazing photos and beautiful description.

  11. Tamara

    I have the good fortune to eat lunch under this tree, and the honey and native bees hum in unison.
    I’ve heard pine cones pop at Jericho – proof that when you take time to observe nature, you are often rewarded.

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