Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Italian Passion for Purple

CC: As I gaze around as this wonderful place known as Castiglion Fiorentino it is difficult to miss the beauty that surrounds me. I know that soon I will be leaving this country and although I am saddened I also look forward to my return to Italy. The landscapes exceed everything that I have seen or ever imagined, with such an astonishingly vibrant landscape full of greenery, color, and life. There are many amazing plants that I have been introduced to throughout my stay, but my absolute favorite is the purple ornamental plum tree (Prunus cerasifera) that provides a perfect accent to the Italian countryside. This ornamental tree is native to Persia and was first introduced to Europe in 1880. This specimen is specifically known and used in landscapes for its beautiful reddish-purple foliage as well as its small pink flowers. Although this variety is a member of the plum family the fruit that is born is not used for the commercial production of edible plums. In Europe these small ornamental trees, approximately 20-25 feet in height, are popularly used as a colorful accent in gardens and landscapes. Personally I love the deep rich shade of purple of these particular plum trees for they catch my eye every time I pass them. The purple foliage reminds me of my childhood with my grandmother, thus it holds a special place within my heart.

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