“There is a shade of red for every woman.”
Please don’t mention red trees to my husband. Once when we were driving around Byron Bay, I kept pointing out red trees and wondering out loud what type of tree it was, which resulted in years of stirring and him or the kids pointing to every red tree we came across and calling out: “Red tree!!” I would’ve thought a bit of passion and enthusiasm was a good thing, but clearly you’re supposed to hide your love away. Be more contained.
“Red has guts …. deep, strong, dramatic. A geranium red. A Goya red … to be used like gold for furnishing a house … for clothes, it is strong, like black or white.”
Anyway, as soon as I drove into Bangalow on our recent holiday, I spotted the beautiful bright red tree in the grounds of Bangalow Public School. Indeed, I’m lucky I didn’t drive off the road. Red trees have that kind of effect on me, not unlike Chris de Burgh and his Lady in Red:
“Trees do not preach learning and precepts. They preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”
― Herman Hesse
For those of you for whom the name “red tree” is woefully insufficient, and you need to know the official scientific names of trees, this is an Illawarra Flame Tree or Currajong.
It grows up to 35 m in the wild but only about 10m in gardens. The bright red bell-shaped flowers grow in clusters at the end of branches, often after the leaves have dropped, giving the plant a distinctive look. It is a deciduous tree that is often found growing alongside the Red Cedar in lowland rainforest habitat.
A few months after the jettisoning of the leaves, the tree produces masses of bell-shaped vivid scarlet flowers. They do not always flower annually and put on their best display maybe only once every five years, especially after a hot dry summer. In between these times, they may only produce one or two branches of flowers on the whole tree.
It produces a tough leathery dark-brown seed pod, containing rows of corn-like seeds that are surrounded by hairs that will irritate the skin and nose and throat if inhaled. They are toxic to many native animals and birds.
“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky. ”
― Kahlil Gibran
“Put on your red shoes, and dance the blues away322222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666.”
“Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking.”
― Wangari Maathai
“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”