Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Foliage Friday: Sacred Fig

Ficus religiosa at the San Antonio Botanical Garden
Aren't those leaves pretty?  This is Sacred Fig, or Ficus religiosa.  It's considered sacred by followers of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.  Siddhartha Gautama was sitting under a Sacred Fig tree when he was enlightened. That tree was known as the Bodhi Tree and was destroyed in the second century B.C.

The Sri Maha Bodhi Tree.  Photo: N.Chamal, licensed under the Creative Commons Act.

A direct descendant of that original holy tree, the Bodhi Tree, still survives.  Known as the Sri Maha Bodhi, it was brought to Sri Lanka in 249 B.C. and is perhaps the oldest living angiosperm in the world. Certainly it is one of the world's great historical trees.  It serves as the parent for other Sacred Figs planted around the world.  Below is a Bodhi tree descendant, planted in the Foster Botanical Gardens in Hawaii.

Licensed under the Creative Commons Act.
These trees are native to India and prefer a tropical climate, but will tolerate life as a houseplant.  Treat as you would a Ficus benjamina.

1 comment:

  1. This was an interesting post. It is amazing to have an offspring of such a holy tree, then have all others be a descendant as well.