The Shaving Brush tree is native to southern Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. It is one of the first trees to bloom in Jaltemba Bay early February and March. This deciduous tree with succulent stems is a member of the Hibiscus family (formerly BomBax family) and is called Clavellina in Spanish. The blooms of the Shaving Brush tree live up to their name, certainly.

The four-inch long bright magenta stamens are so profuse that the flower really does look like a delicate, psychedelic shaving brush. The spiky flowers grow from the tip of bare branches before leaves appear. But the show is a quick one, and soon the base of the tree is littered with what looks to be like pink troll-doll hair.

There is a beautiful white form of the Shaving Brush tree as well, but they are not as numerous – the one we photographed here was on a back road trip along a dry creek bed.

by Ken & Bea Rauch

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