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Bottle of Oz

April 21, 2012

From Australia?

After reading last week’s Honey locust post, Paul refuted my statement that we’ve not planted many trees at the Rancho … I gave it some thought, and by the time I got to 8 trees I stopped: He’s right, we’ve planted quite a few! Many of them are varieties of Palo Verde, but several are drought tolerant examples from more exotic locales … in this instance, Australia. Introducing our Queensland bottle tree. Purchased about a year ago from a craigslist vendor in the high desert, I couldn’t resist its starry foliage. But, although it looks lacy and delicate right now, give it a decade or so and it should be quite tall, with the bottle-shaped trunk it’s famous for …

Yes, Queensland!

When I first bought the bottle tree it was a twig with a few spindly leaves. The seller told me it would love open sun and well-drained soil; still, I was nervous planting it on a mound of decomposed granite and out in the open. It seemed too small to survive Riverside’s relentless summer sun … Well, I needn’t have worried because my baby bottle has loved its bright spot at the Rancho. It’s now more than 2-feet tall and bristling with foliage, including very pretty newly-opened leaves. Still translucently new, the youngest leaves are an attractive red … in contrast with the tree’s green older ones. My bottle tree cost about $25; a high price for such a small plant, I thought at the time … but because it was so rare, and had traveled so far, I ponied up. I think it was a good investment now because I love it … And as this ebay listing shows (click here) they can be considerably more costly. I doubt I’ll be around long enough to see my bottle tree’s trunk reach its full size (click here for example), but it makes me giddy to think it might … on the corner of 14th and Redwood … in Riverside, California!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Guida permalink
    April 21, 2012 10:38 pm

    Giddy indeed and rightly so…..I love the adult you’ve shown or perhaps it’s a grandaddy.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      April 21, 2012 10:45 pm

      Hi, Guida! I believe that example is a very mature adult … And quite spectacular, too! Especially for this neighborhood …

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