A Tree with Tulips in its Hair

Tree of the Week A Tree with Tulips in its Hair By James R. Fazio | May 15, 2018 Liriodendron tulipifera “Imagine a tall tree with unearthly foliage and 5,000 tulips in its hair.” — Thomas Pakenham, Meetings with Remarkable Trees Tuliptrees seem to inspire poetic interpretation. Leaves appear snipped off at the tips by supernatural scissors, forming the silhouette of a stylized tip. The tree’s flowers, the real reason for the name tuliptree, stand singly at the tips of twigs — six large, yellowish petals that to American naturalist Donald Peattie, “hold the sunshine in their cups, setting the whole giant tree alight.” Later in the season, dry, cone-like fruits continue the picturesque parade with their resemblance of little torches held boldly aloft. The glorious tuliptree is the state tree of Indiana and Tennessee, it is the tallest of the eastern hardwoods and grows rapidly when conditions are right. In fact, writer Hugh Johnson notes that a “seedling with all its pr..
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