Mystery: Summer wet season’s botanical clue?
Hint: Think country mouse, city mouse

The start of fall is easy to see in the swamp: Look no farther than the needles of the cypress trees turning brown then falling off. But does the swamp have a similar botanical clue that signals the start of the summer wet season?

a. Pond apples start to ripen and fall

b. Gumbo Limbo’s bark peals

c. Royal Poinciana’s bright orange flowers

d. Sawgrass blooms begin to appear

e. Brazilian Pepper berries turn red

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Click “Read More” to find the answer: “Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable.” Overheard

The correct answer is c. Royal Poinciana.

The only caveat is that you’ll usually find them in town not in the swamp, although some of us know a place or two you can find one if you look hard, usually on high ground.

Royal Poinciana trees bloom in May

Starting in May, the Royal Poinciana tree unleashes …

A fiery display of flowers. Streets literally light up in their presence. But it’s a strange red luminescence in that it does not bring warmth, rather shade … a very deep and luxurious shade. All thanks to its copious canopy of outstretching branches and fern-like leaves.

And shed their flowers
in June with the start
of the summer rains

Rain drops and wind from the start of the rainy season soon to follow send these flame-like flowers to the ground one by one, or in clusters, on the blacktop and inevitably in puddles where when you see them you half expect to hear them sizzle:

Red hot flowers on rain cooled asphalt.

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