The University of Arizona campus is the place to see unusual flowering trees.
Everything about the white floss silk tree, now blooming in at least two spots on the UA campus, is beautiful and strange. The flowers are stunning, but the trunk of the tree is even more magnificent.
This is the conicle-covered trunk of the silk floss tree at the northeast corner of Park Avenue and Fourth Street on campus. The green trunk means this is a relatively young tree. When it ages, the trunk turns gray, according to the web site of the UA Arboretum. There's an older tree on the south side of the engineering building.
The Palo de Picho tree, a native of Central America, is also in bloom on campus right now.
The horseradish tree, a native of India, is almost completely edible, the UA aboretum says. That includes the leaves, flowers, seeds and roots. There are several specimens on campus and in bloom now.
By the way, the UA arboretum web site is terrific. You can find lots of information about the plants on campus and a map of where they are. You can sign up for plant tours. Or you can access a mobile self-guided tour.
The southern magnolia tree just east of the State Museum isn't blooming at this time of year, but the ground is littered with its big seed pods. As a woman on a recent arboretum tour said, Martha Stewart would know how to make something with these.