Tree & Shrub Facts


Every tree or shrub is a very important plant in its own way. Each has an original profile made up of genetic and other information, which tells us everything that we should know about how to cultivate and care for that plant. One fact might stand out from the rest, giving the tree or shrub an exclusive character.

Great Visitor Attraction

Visitors to Tombstone, Arizona marvel at "the world's largest rose tree." The Lady Banks rose tree (Rosa banksiae) boasts a massive 8,000-square-foot canopy and a trunk that is more than 14 feet in girth. In April every year, clusters of white roses blossom on interwoven canes. This spectacular tree dates back to 1885, when Mary Gee, a homesick young bride from Scotland, received cuttings as a gift. In addition to Arizona, the Lady Banks rose tree grows throughout the southern United States. Its name honors Dorothea Banks, the wife of the renowned British botanist, Sir Joseph Banks.

Culinary Benefits

Sage (Salvia officinalis) is an aromatic evergreen shrub that is a particular favorite of herb gardeners worldwide. It serves us all well in stuffings for poultry, rabbit, fish, sausage and meatloaf. This shrub exhibits oblong gray-green leaves and blue and purple summer blooms on short spikes. For the best results, plant sage about 1/8 inch deep and make sure that the soil stays moist during the early growing period. Harvest the sage before flowers appear. Gather the sprigs and set them to dry in a cool place, before separating the leaves from the stems. Make sure this shrub sits in well-drained soil and full sun. The sage shrub can grow to heights of about 3 feet.

Medicinal Uses

As its name suggests, the lion's ear or wild dagga (Leonotis leonurus) is native to South Africa. It is a fast growing grasslands shrub, reaching heights of about 10 feet. The corolla bears a close resemblance to the fuzzy ears of a lion. This plant features long, narrow leaves and clusters of bright orange, apricot or white flowers that bloom in the fall. Lion's ear thrives in well-drained, loamy soil and needs ample water in the summer. It provides a traditional remedy for snake bite, as well as other ailments from fever to dysentery, according to the PlantzAfrica website.

Parallel Peacocks

The peacock is the national bird of India, and the peacock flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) is a native perennial shrub. The plant's clustered, red-orange or yellow blooms grow on very long and straight stems. The peacock flower thrives in full sun, well drained soil and a tropical climate. It is a member of the Gulmohar family.

Nature's Network

The banyan or barh tree (Ficus bengalensis) is the national tree of India. It can grow to about 60 feet in height and over 100 years old, exhibiting large leaves, small blossoms and cherry-like fruit. Its branches produce shoots that root and create new tree trunks. Over time, one tree becomes a formidable banyan network. The banyan is a member of the Moraceae family.

Keywords: trees and shrubs, the peacock flower, the banyan tree

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Maureen Katemopoulos has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. Her articles on travel, the arts, cuisine and history have appeared in publications such as "Stanislaus Magazine," "Orientations," "The Asia Magazine" and "The Peninsula Group Magazine." She holds a Baccalaureate degree in journalism from Stanford University.