Tropical Almond in Cartagena

Tropical almond (Terminalia catappa), known in  Cartagena  simply as almendro, is a beautiful leafy tree of moderate height found in tropical zones, especially in coastal areas. It bends nicely with the breeze and tolerates the levels of salinity found in much of the soil here on the northern coast of Colombia. This lush tree, famous for the shade it gives, can reach to up to 35 meters high growing  in  the forests but in urban areas it generally grows to between four and ten meters in height. A notable reason for which the almond is a tree frequently planted in Cartagena is its root system does not go down very deep soit grows easily in well-drained sandy soils – and this also means that it’s guaranteed not to break up the sidewalks, or weaken the foundations of  walls.  Some of the oldest almond trees in Cartagena are found in the magnificent Cloister of Santo Domingo. The Spanish Agency for international Cooperation for Development which has its headquarters there was responsible for the restoration work.
In the novel Love in the Time of Cholera by  Gabriel Garcia Márquez, the main character, Florentino Ariza, used to sit in the shade of an almond tree on the farthest bench of the Little Park ofthe Evangels (today Plaza Fernandez de Madrid) waiting for a chance to get afurtive glimpse of Fermina  Daza, the young girl who has captivated hisheart forever.

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Marelvy Peña

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