This is the second post from the empress tree in Bute Park, Cardiff, as part of the brilliant Loose and Leafy tree-following project organised by Lucy Corrander.
I probably gave away too much historical information about the Paulownia tomentosa species in my first post, so this time I am just inspecting the Cardiff tree, planted in the 1950s, more closely to see what I can find before it bursts into flowery and leafy life in Spring.
I hadn’t noticed on my first visit that from one direction the empress seems to have a belly-button. It’s clearly where a big branch was cut off in the past. If you look closer, the area is cracked and wrinkled.
By the way, did you know that the Greek word for belly-button – Omphalos – is also the word for an ancient stone artefact said to mark the centre (or navel) of the world? There’s more about that on Wikipedia, of course.
But back to the tree, which has interesting textures all over…
All these pictures were taken on February 27, but I have not had a chance to go back in the last week to see if the daffodils are in bloom beneath the empress. When the current drizzly weather eases I must return. I don’t want to miss the empress’s purple “foxglove-like” blooms popping out!
See all the other Loose and Leafy tree followers here.
See all my tree-themed posts here.