Friday, March 29, 2013

Gumbo Limbo Tree (Bursera simaruba) RePOST 2009

Florida Trees are nothing if not exotic. These trees are Gumbo Limbo trees at Fort Desoto National Monument in Bradenton, Florida

SINCE SO MANY OF YOU LIKED THE TREE I FOUND THIS OLD 2009 Post that none of you have seen and reposted it.


Click on this one to see amazing details
Gumbo-limbo is a medium sized fast-growing tree, that can attain height of 20-50 ft . It has
pinnately compound (featherlike) leaves and attractive reddish bark that peels away in thin flakes to reveal a smooth and sinuous gray underbark. These were taken after the bark fell away and after a tropical storm blew all the leaves away.


The red peeling bark resembles sunburned skin thereby inspiring Floridians to give it another common name: the tourist tree.
This is an old photo I took before the storm. Several years ago. After looking at these, I need to go back and try again.
It may look like a tree that you would love to climb on and sit on these big sturdy looking limbs. But the Gumbo Limbo limbs are light-weight, light in color, soft and brittle. Signs are posted to keep off the trees.


The gumbo-limbo loses all its leaves in early spring just before the new leaves appear. The tree blooms in winter, producing small inconspicuous flowers composed of 3-5 greenish petals arranged in elongate racemes (spikelike clusters), I have yet to see the blooms, I will try harder.


I hope you enjoyed the story of the Gumbo Limbo. I love its majestic limbs.




Gumbo-limbo is used as a living fencepost wherever it occurs. Haitians make drums from the trunk of gumbo-limbo. A resin obtained from the trunk and bark is called chibou, cachibou or gomart in the West Indies, and is used to make glue, varnish, water repellent coatings and incense. The resin smells a little like turpentine. The fruits are eaten by several kinds of birds. The soft wood is easily carved.





16 comments:

Snapper II said...

Beautiful trees. Great explanation.

Ginny said...

Another cool tree. I love this stuff! Florida has never appealed to me, but it seems like it would be worth a visit just to see these trees! I never knew there were trees that bloomed in winter. But here's my question. Why is it called Gumbo Limbo? Can you do the limbo under it, then make gumbo from it?

Beverly said...

Love that tree. I asked about the signs the last time I was there, and they told me it was because of the fragility (is that a word, or did I make it up?) of the branches.

I did not know that about the Haitian drums. I don't recall seeing them in Haiti...maybe I just wasn't looking.

Sunny said...

Your trees are fantastic. I'm putting a tree posting together for tomorrow...they look pretty sad in comparison!
Sunny :)

MedaM said...

Another series of wonderful photos of fascinating trees that I have never seen before in private. It is interesting the way how those trees grow. Thanks again for sharing!

Al said...

Nice photos.
Enchanted, gorgeous habit trees.
I wonder who failed to make reference: the photographer or Wikipedia.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

They are so amazing and beautiful!

Rose said...

Did you notice your slideshow is back!!!!

I sure love this tree...it would be so hard to not to want to climb on it....

Maple Lane said...

Fun to learn about this tree. I love the photos. Something new for me and I would have been tempted to climb in my younger years!

Inger said...

What a gorgeous and interesting tree.
It looks like it's dancing, waiving it's branches to some beat only it can hear.

SquirrelQueen said...

You know I love trees and this one is magnificent. The way the branches twist and grow reminds me of the sycamores in our local park. I like the name tourist tree, tourist with sunburn. That is funny.

Betsy Adams said...

Awesome--Awesome--Awesome... I love trees like that... I thought the one yesterday was a Live Oak--but maybe not. I've never heard of a Gumbo-Limbo before --but I'm madly in love... Thanks for sharing.

Hugs,
Betsy

George said...

This is an amazing tree. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. Your photos are beautiful.

Betty Manousos said...

such an awesome tree! i love trees like that. i'd love to sit under that tree...just being there!
xo

Susannah said...

Strange but interesting tree. It was fun learning all about it. The photos are beautiful from every angle. Hope you are having a good day, Sandra.

Susannah

Kathy said...

Such an unusual tree. I've never heard of them before!