When I first moved to South Florida I fell in love with the trees here. The different varieties of palm trees are hard to keep up with. The Royal Poinciana is another favorite. But the Banyan tree captivates me.
Banyan trees can be found throughout South Florida. They are quite impressive. If you take a drive on Old Cutler Road starting in Palmetto Bay and heading north to Coral Gables, you'll see many of them. Their canopies can extend clear across the street. But it's their trunks that mesmerize. There's something primitive about them. They always make me look and wonder. I'm not quite sure what I wonder about when I look, but time seems to stand still when I'm around the Banyan.
I researched the Banyan shortly after arriving here and was surprised with what I found. The Banyan tree is a fig that usually starts it's life on another tree. Birds will drop the seed in a crevice of the trunk of another tree and the seed will germinate. It then sends roots down to the ground. Eventually, the Banyan ends up engulfing the tree that gave it life. For this reason the Banyan is also known as a Strangler Fig.
In Robinson Crusoe, the main character made his home in a Banyan tree. The first Banyan tree planted in South Florida was in Ft. Myers. It was a gift to Thomas Edison from Harvey Firestone. Mr. Firestone was introduced to the Banyan in 1925 on a trip to India, one of the native countries of the Banyan tree. The tree he gave Mr. Edison was originally 4 feet tall and now covers 400 feet. Incredible.
Even knowing that a Banyan tree strangles it's host tree I can't help but admire it's beauty. Despicable natural instinct or tenacity? Maybe that's what I think about when they capture my attention. How they share certain qualities with people.
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Keeping the Real in Real Estate...
- Maggie Dokic, Realtor®
- EWM Realtors