This is a rambling episode about beer cans in the wild, plant gestalt, and instincts about places. Oh, and an interesting plant called Sideroxylon lanuginosa, which I describe below. Here’s to a 2021 with less beer cans in the desert, more grinding holes in magical places and lots of wild flora and fauna.
When I first identified this tree I learned it as the genus Bumelia. That name is from the Greek for ash tree, but I could find no explanation for the name. Sideroxlon is the preferred genus name and now a days Bumelia is applied to a few of its common names, as in gum bumelia. The “gum” part of the name refers to a gum or sap found on cracks or wounds in the trunk. I like the common name of gum bum, but only because I made it up. Considering it’s range from Florida to Arizona you can imagine all the different common names it has and that’s only on this side of the International border, as this plant ranges southward into Mexico. Oh, and there are other species of Sideroxylon in the southeast US, so imagine all of the common names they have!
The tree is listed as deciduous, but I’d say “sorta deciduous,” because they don’t drop all their leaves in the winter, but then they don’t look all that great either. But hey, it’s wild and native!
The photos are mine of the branches, leaves and spines of Sideroxylon lanuginosum