I can’t help myself and guess I should come to grips with the fact that I am a total plant geek and no matter where I am the plants interest me. And so there I am in a section of Brooklyn with huge (yuge!) London plane trees and my passion took over. There were many cool street trees and I was delighted to know what most of them were and some were actual natives to the region. Go figure, cause not all local native trees will be successful street trees.
Anyway, I loved the native plant walks at the two botanical gardens I visited. Both included eastern hardwood forest areas and both had the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera). Not only did I know it from the woods of my Kentucky childhood, but also remembered it being in a favorite urban park where I sometimes hung out after school. Oh, and I remember we called it the tulip poplar, but it is in the Magnolia family Magnoliaceae. If you look up its range you will see that it is found pretty much throughout the eastern United States. So my Kentucky native is a New York native or an Arkansas native and so it goes with much of the tree and shrub species of the eastern United States.
Oh, I love the eastern hardwood forests and it brought back some marvelous memories, but it also reminded me that in the borderlands of southern Arizona we can see more diversity in a drive from the low desert to the top of a sky island than you can on a several hundred-mile drive through the eastern United States. Lucky us!
A Couple Notes: My radiologist father opened his office to the Lexington (KY) Art League for art shows, thus the memorial tree. And I did get to ride on the bug carousel at the Bronx Zoo. Someone beat us to the dung beetle, but I rode a cicada and Sasha rode a monarch larva. Lucky us!