Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mystery of the Flowering Tree Solved

The Tree in Okinawa, Japan Came from Brazil

Tokkuri Kiwata (トックリキワタ) was what the lady kept telling me.

Twice, I went to the village office and asked her what the name of that flowering tree might be.

Not so good at hearing, I watch her lips so I can figure out what she's saying.

Then, I pronounce the words and see if she corrects me.

When I think I've got it, I write the stuff down on a scrap of paper.

Back at the office, I research online, to get an English name. No luck.

 Every time I put the word Tokkuri in a search engine, I got sake bottles.


On my second visit, Kyoko tells me it's a Tokkuri Kiwata tree.

We even walked across the highway and talked to some local men about the trees.

They said the plants originally came from Brazil.

With all the information I gathered in the field, I figured the mystery would be solved.

The search engines kept giving me sake bottles and flower shops.  Groan, again.

People Like to See Okinawa's Trees and Flowers

So, when I'm not shooting wildlife or tourist attractions, I look for them.

Taking photos is the easy part. Finding common names, in English is a bit tougher.

This Tokkuri Kiwata thing was driving me crazy and, I was about to give up on it.

The answer came to me this morning from a great resource.  Where?

Believe it, or not, they have a forum for trees, flowers, plants, fungi, and shrubs.

Last night, I uploaded some photos and a description, along with the location.

This morning the mystery was solved.

Tokkuri Kiwata (Ceiba speciosa) is called a Silk-floss Tree, in English.

The Spanish name would be Palo Borracho, which translates to, drunken stick.

Learn more about this mystery tree flowering in Okinawa, Japan at:


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