Thursday, August 1, 2013
Botany picture #90: Ornamental cherry tree
Winter, if you can call it that, is odd here in Canberra. The locals like to complain how cold it is but for a German it is really only like three or four months of late autumn; there is no snow and ice, and unless there is severe fog it always warms up nicely during the day. (Perhaps it would help if Australians would dress for the weather, but no! They seem to insist that one should be able to walk around in flip flops and shorts even at 5°C because this is Australia goddammit.)
The flora at least perceives the non-winter precisely as I do. The last leaves of introduced trees in the city parks have hardly fallen and you can already see spring flowering coming into full swing. It is now end of July/beginning of August, translating into end of January/beginning of February in a northern hemisphere winter, which would in Germany generally be followed by a full month of more deep frosty winter, with spring flowers then usually only really starting to come out in March. Yet here the cherries are already blooming and, as you can see in today's botany picture taken last Saturday, even quite close to finishing (note the brown colour of most stamens). As for native plants, the wattles (Acacia) are also beginning to bloom.
Admittedly, this July is also exceptionally warm after a summer that was so ridiculously hot that new colours had to be added to weather maps.