Yoshizen's Blog

Paulownia / Princess Tree

If you see only a flower of this plant, you may well mistaken it as a flower of foxglove, but this flower blooms on the 10m tall tree.

This is a tree called Paulownia, AKA  Princess Tree.   This tree was named by a German doctor who brought it back from Japan, Franz von Sieblod.   Russian Royal Princess, Anna Pavlovna helped Siebold to compile the book of Japanese Flora, hence the name of this flower was dedicated to her. — (U and W in Poulownia can be pronounced as V !)

In the east, this tree (could grow even 15m tall) has been used to curve music instrument and make the furnitures for a bride. (The wood repel the insects, hence protects the Kimono inside)  So that, when the parents got baby daughter, in tradition, they plant this tree and the time of her wedding, the grown tree was used to make dowry furnitures. —– How sweet the story isn’t it.   🙂

If you see (and smell) this flower, you will be convinced how noble this flower is. —– Why noble ? —– She doesn’t have a pompous beauty like a big rose, or the Somei-Yoshino Cherry like over whelming gorgeous power, and she looks rather humble, still its presence makes your mouth shut.  Siebold must have felt the same.

It must be well-known, that the Japanese Emperor’s emblem is the Chrysanthemum flower.  And the emblem of the Japanese Royals is this Paulownia flower. — (Cherry flower is the emblem of the Japanese military force.)  It shouldn’t be confused that the Shogun was just a minister of defence under the Emperor,  and the authority of the Japanese Emperor and the Royals never touched by anybody in the past 2600 years.   So, Japanese Empire and her Emperor is the longest continuing one blood line entity in the world history.   (Second longest is the British though, their blood line often changes = current royals is in fact germans. —– So, when British Queen shook hand with Japanese Emperor, she took her grave off.)

Untill two days ago, I didn’t know this tree was here and I was thinking only another tree in the north London.

This group of plants used to be called Labiatae (since its looks, and as in the same group of foxglove, Sage, rosemary etc) though, now they were called Lamiaceae and the botanical classification is lots more complicated.  (May be the study of gene might have found which species is closer each other etc.)

When I saw this tree from a distance, I thought it was a Jacaranda, —–  I have a quite soft spot to the pale violet-coloured flowers, I don’t know why, and the smell of this flower has been imprinted to my subconscious since I was small.   And its associated memory coming back at once.   It was THE MOMENT to see a lost friend again after many many years !

Fallen flowers still giving nice fragrance —– this is how royals smell !   And you know, royals never fart !   😀

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