Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A Lost Bamboo in Tampa

We were walking along the paved path in Rowlett Park in Tampa Bay, FL when I stopped in surprise.

The trees in the park were a mixture of hardwoods, including oak trees covered in Spanish Moss, as well as pine hammocks. The oaks in particular were quite enchanting in their epiphytic finery. 

But what stopped me in my tracks was a sight that seemed quite out of place in that genteel surroundings Rising up like some mountainous upthrust from between bent hardwood trees and a small palm were the beautiful culms of a large bamboo grass! 

It was as if the trees had been pushed to the side by the more aggressive bamboo, as can be seen in the image above, where I marked the trunk of one tree with a yellow arrow.

I examined the bamboo, and found that its leaves were quite delicate looking, and the culms were an attractive dark green. The bamboo reared up from the surrounding foliage of the hardwoods and clearly had no problem gaining access to the sun.

I wondered who had planted it, and when. Was it there by design, a gift from the landscapers who populated the park? Did some itinerant local gardener lovingly plant it during one of his sojourns? Or perhaps it was even a natural event, a consequence of some seed or bamboo fragment being deposited into this unlikely spot.

I also wondered whether any of the joggers and walkers and passers-by even noticed this unusual resident of their local community park, something almost miraculous in the heart of their thriving urban jungle.

For anyone interested, the coordinates of this unusual bamboo are: 28.02272,-82.43262

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