July 27, 2009


China Berries, originally uploaded by blmurch.

It's definitely winter here in Buenos Aires. A cold snap came through the city last week and there was snow in the Provincia! Early last Friday morning I found myself in Mataderos on the west side of town. There, I finally found someone who could tell me the name in Spanish of these trees: ParaĆ­so. From there I was able to look them up in my book: Biota Rioplatense III: Arboles Rioplatenses (Thank you Leandro!!!). The official scientific name is Melia azedarach. In the winter, no leaves remain, just theses "China Berries". I love the fact that these berries were used as beads for rosaries before plastics came along and supplanted them. They seem like they would have a nice "click" and a nice feel as they run through one's fingers.


Leandro said...

Amazing how you managed to take such a gorgeous picture from such a pitiful plant... :)

Katie said...

Oh, I'm so glad you posted about these trees. I have seen them around Necochea and thought the white berries were pretty. The berries start to glow in the late afternoon as the golden light hits them.

Nice photo too. I love the berry bokeh!

Beatrice M said...

Thank you Leandro. I really think these trees are interesting in the winter. I don't know what they look like in the summer - I'll have to keep my eye out for them as they seem to have pretty flowers.

Katie - they must be gorgeous in the late afternoon. I'll keep an eye out for that as well!

d7d said...

ah china berries. i remember them from a period way back in my life when i went to school in tucson arizona. there were china berry trees around as street trees and sort of as an invasive species. i liked them for their winter interest with all the yellow "fruit" or seeds or whatever they have hanging on them. ive never looked them up as to nativity. although i have over the years seen them in numerous diverse places. so you found them in a volume of rio platense....does that mean they are native to somewhere around here? so many plants have been moved around the world and sometimes look more native in a foreign place than they do at home. ie eucalyptus or london plane tree

Beatrice M said...

They are native to India, southern China and Australia and are an invasive species here. I am intrigued to see what they look like in the spring and summer as it seems like they have nice flowers, which I haven't noticed before.

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