Thursday, May 21, 2009

tree fun

It seems that Mr. Fun, E.O. Harbin, whose 1968 The Fun Encyclopedia is out of print, also knew lots about tree characteristics he describes in a series of quiz questions in the chaper Fun Outdoors. Below is a sample of the fun. So, what tree?
I am a small tree with large leaves crowded on the stem. I am a close relative of the large magnolia.

My leaves vary from fourteen to twenty-two inches in length by alternate, simple, narroly peared or ovate, pointed at both ends, smooth and fall in the autumn with little change in color.

My flower is creamy white, ill-scented, cup-shaped, with petals six to nine inches long. A whorl of leaves usually surround the flower.

My fruit is rose-colored when ripe, from two to four inches long, cylindrical or cone-shaped, consisting of small capsules, each containing a red seed about one-half inch in length.

My bark is thin, light ray, smooth, and roughened by irregular protruding portions.

My wood is light, soft, light brown in color, and of little practical value. I am planted for ornamental purposes and resemble a rainy-day favorite.

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