Meet the trees – the lucky beanAUTHOR: Miranda // CATEGORY: Black Dog Summer, Meet the trees Black Dog Summer, lucky bean, Meet the trees No Comments
“In the centre of the yard, the lucky bean tree was just starting to flower, and its bare branches were bristling with vibrant crimson spikes. Beyond the clearing, the lush long grass glowed tall and green and singing with life…”
A flamboyant member of the pea family, this tree is also commonly known as the coral tree, and umsinzi in Zulu. Its flowers draw a myriad birds and insects with a penchant for nectar, its bark is favoured by elephants, and the leaves are munched by baboons, black rhinos and assorted antelope. The flowering of the lucky bean trees is an excellent indication that it’s time to plant crops, while boiled bark is an ingredient in many traditional medicines. When the pods ripen and split, the rows of bright red seeds that fall have long been regarded as lucky charms, and are often incorporated into adornments and jewelery.