Shade Metals

Species Specific Botanical Jewelry

flowers

Cherry, Asian (Prunus serrulata)

Sara & CesarComment

NATIVE RANGE:

East Asia, China, Japan, Korea, and parts of India

DESCRIPTION:

Small deciduous tree with delicate pink flowers that bloom in early spring The bark is smooth with horizontal stripes, and it grows alternating toothy leaves after it blooms.

Cherry, prunus ID 88469727 © Avmedved | Dreamstime.com

Cherry, prunus ID 88469727 © Avmedved | Dreamstime.com


TREE DIPLOMACY:

The US and Japan began exchanging flowering trees over 100 years ago. In 1912, the mayor of Tokyo gave the US 3000 cherry trees. Those trees took 8 years to plant in Washington DC and are still commemorated each year with the Cherry Blossom Festival. The US responded in 2012, giving Japan 3000 flowering dogwoods, some of which were planted at a memorial for the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

cherry-branch-necklace-prunus-serrata.jpg

PRUNING:

As a tree steward part of my work involves pruning street trees. Trees in urban environments often get too much sun and water, because they tend to grow alone instead of with other trees close by. This means that they grow very quickly, which can effect the long term health of the tree. Pruning helps to control this overly rapid growth, particularly in young trees, which helps them to live longer and to be more equpit to handle the hazards of city life - hazards include cars and people breaking off branches, power lines, bikes parked against their trunks which opens the bark up to infection, toxins in the air and water etc.

Early spring is the best time to prune. The trees are just waking up from their dormant state, and they will have the rains of spring and the summer sun to recover from the pruning. We use several different species of branches in our work, but collecting young cherry branches is always one of my favorite foraging tasks.

Poppy, Golden (Eschscholzia californica)

Sara & CesarComment

NATIVE RANGE:

Southwest US & Mexico

DESCRIPTION:

Cup shaped meadow flower ranging from bright red to yellow. Grows on a long stem with fern like delicate foliage

golden poppy ID 95009056 © Iva Villi | Dreamstime.com

golden poppy ID 95009056 © Iva Villi | Dreamstime.com


Poppy Apocalypse in Lake Elsinore, CA ID 142564849 © Kilmermedia | Dreamstime.com.jpg

Poppy Apocalypse in Lake Elsinore, CA ID 142564849 © Kilmermedia | Dreamstime.com.jpg

POPPY APOCALYPSE

In March of 2019 tens of thousands of tourists descended on the hills of southern California to see the “superbloom” of poppies. A record bloom turned the hills orange, and several small towns were overwhelmed with the visitors vying to get the perfect photo.

The mayor of Lake Elsinore CA, where this photo was taken declared a “Poppy Apocalypse” after his small town was invaded by 100,000 tourists in a single day.


FOOD & DRUGS:

This species of poppy produces edible seeds & oil, and sometimes the flower itself is used as a garnish. Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy, is native to the Middle East and Western Asia. That species is highly controlled by international agencies because it can produce opium, heroin, and codine. The DEA even raided Monticello in the 90’s because the historically accurate gardeners had continued to grow the flower that Thomas Jefferson orignially brought to the Americas.