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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Geiger Tree


Geiger Tree, originally uploaded by Elizabeth Smith.

Watercolor pencil again, over ink from a Pitt artist pen (small size). The Geiger tree has striking orange tubular flowers, and coarse, slightly disreputable looking leaves. Here in the USA, this tropical tree is found only in southern Florida because of its low cold tolerance.

In his book "Growing Native," Richard Workman relates the legend of Audubon's acquaintance and subsequent naming of this species for John Geiger, his Key West host and friend in the 1830's. However, Dick also points out that Mark Catesby made note of the same name, Geiger tree, in a book published over eighty years earlier. Interesting!

These sketches are from trees planted at Freedom Park here in Naples, Florida.

You can click on the image above in order to view it larger on my Flickr photostream.