Under the Sea

One of my earlier posts was about a ginger that was named "Siam Tulip".

Have you ever wondered where your plants' common names come from?  I do from time to time.  This isn't surprising for those of you who read this blog regularly because you know I can obsess about scientific names, as well.

In a corner of my garden sits my coral tree.  How did it get its common name? 


Was it because of its color?  I distinguish colors based on the hues of a 16-color Crayola box.  Unfortunately, coral is not included in the 64-crayon pack, much less the 16-color pack.  So I turned to the ever-reliable internet and found these:



Coral red, maybe?  However, my flowers seem more red, more vibrant.  

Come to think of it, even real corals are much more red and that is considering that red is the first color absorbed underwater.

What do I mean?  

The colors of the light spectrum (ROYGBIV) are absorbed as light travels through water.  Red is absorbed at approximately 20 feet.  Followed by orange and so on.  The last to be absorbed would be blue, indigo and violet.

This explains why photos taken at greater depths, such as the one of myself, are mostly blue.

TRIVIA:  This also explains why if you cut your hand or get a nosebleed at about 40 to 50 feet, blood appears green.

Moray eel amidst red coral taken in Anilao, Batangas.

Scorpion fish against red coral taken in Anilao, Batangas.

Frog fish looking like a coral taken in Anilao, Batangas.

Corallo Rosso Coralliuma Rubrum nella grotta di Amphitrite Alghero by Marco Busdraghi and used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic

However, I digress.

I eventually learned that the coral tree has another common name.  Flame Tree.  This is its common name which is based on the color of the flowers.

The name coral tree was not because of its color but because its branches resemble the shape of sea coral.

As for its scientific name, this is my Erythrina crista-galli.  It is native to South America.  In fact, its flower is the national flower of Argentina.  

Aren't the flowers unique and lovely?




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