Class Participation from Last Saturday's Show –
The Golden Shower Tree
It all started with an email from a gentleman who wanted to know if I knew what the yellow-flowering tree was at the corner of W. Airport and Mulholland. I talked about it briefly early Saturday morning on The GardenLine, and simply said that it could be several choices, but without a picture it would be hard to pinpoint.
But that didn't stop all kinds of fun conjecture from various e-mailers and phone callers. And then the whole subject took on a life of its own. Then, the pictures started rolling in. What fun that was. I called it "excellent class-participation on a whole new level."
Needless to say, once the pictures did come in (and the first set of digital pictures was by far the best) then I knew for sure that the magnificent yellow-flowering tree was indeed the Golden Shower Tree. Technically it is known as the Cassia fistula, but we just simply know it as the Golden Shower. Other names this tree may be known by are: Senna Fistula, Yellow Shower Tree, Indian Laburnam. These pictures, by the way are of that exact tree on W. Airport & Mulholland. These are not specimens from the internet.
This is a national flower of Thailand and one of the most impressive cassias I've ever seen, being that there are several hundred varieties. Here in Houston you see it flower most of the summer months, which proves how much it loves the hot, humid climates as it displays beautiful cascades of golden flowers. This is a medium to large tree with ovate, pointed leaflets; when these drop, usually in the dry season, masses of bright gold flower clusters appear on almost every branch. Cassia likes full sun and well-drained soil and to bloom profusely require a dry season. But to be fair, when it doesn't have leaves and obviously doesn't have flowers, it looks kind of ragged and wimpy.
So, thanks to all the phone callers, e-mailers and picture-providers, but a special thanks to Jim Edwards who was first in and with the best quality digital pictures. Again, it was a lot of fun and the whole discussion took on a life of its own, but I wouldn't hesitate to do it again especially if we know the exact street corners of said plant specimens, and as long as we are trespassing on anyone's property to get said picture – wink, wink!!
Finally, a couple of reminders about what smart homeowners are doing for their landscape this week. And if you need any clarification on any of these issues tune in to the radio program this Saturday and Sunday morning, and get your phone call in early if you need a more detailed answer.
Things You Should Be Doing/Thinking About Doing in Mid July
• Summer Fertilization Per My Schedule
• Irrigation System Installation
• Watch for Mealy Bugs on Hibiscus
• Watch for LaceBugs & Spider Mites on Azaleas & Lantana
• Re-Mulch Flower Beds for Moisture Conservation
• Feed Summer Flowering Plants Such as Hibiscus & Crapes
• Pinch Back the Colorful C's – Coleus, Copperplants etc.
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
Be sure to check out Randy's Event Page to see where else Randy will be for the next few weekends. Bring your plants, bugs, and diseases for identification purpose.