Boojum tree / cirio / Fouquieria columnaris / Idria columnaris. Baja California, MEXICO.
Baja California, MEXICO: The boojum or cirio (Fouquieria columnaris, synonym Idria columnaris) is a bizarre-looking tree in the family Fouquieriaceae, whose other members include the Ocotillos. It is nearly endemic to the Baja California peninsula, with only a small population in the Sierra Bacha of Sonora. A fifty-year-old specimen might be a foot thick at its base, and less than five feet tall. It's one of the slowest growing plants in the world, at the rate of a foot every ten years, which means a mature fifty-footer may be more than 500 years old. An Arizona botanist, in 1922, applied the name boojum, after the imaginary "boojum" that inhabited "distant shores" in Lewis Carrol's poem Hunting of the Snark. The early Spaniards called it cirio, or candle, probably because of its resemblance to the handmade tapers that decorated the altars in the Jesuit mission churches. The flowers bloom in summer and autumn; they occur in short racemes, and are creamy yellow with a honey scent. Published in Americas Magazine, "Bizarre Blooms of Baja" article, April 2006 (official magazine of the Organization of American States, OAS).Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download