Boojum tree

Boojum tree

name = Boojum Tree

image_width = 240px
image_caption = Three Boojum or Cirio trees in the central Baja desert.
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Ericales
familia = Fouquieriaceae
genus = "Fouquieria"
species = "F. columnaris"
binomial = "Fouquieria columnaris"
binomial_authority = (Kellogg) Kellogg ex Curran

The boojum or (Spanish) cirio ("Fouquieria columnaris", syn. "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. The plant's English name was given by Godfrey Sykes of the Desert Botanical Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona and is taken from Lewis Carroll's poem "The Hunting of the Snark". [Robert R. Humphrey. The Boojum and its Home]

The peculiar distribution pattern of the mainland boojums has led Mexican botanists to conclude that they were probably transplanted to the mainland by the indigenous Seri people, who lived in this area and still live on communal property south of this location. The Seri name for this plant is "cototaj" IPA| [ˈkototax] . In Seri belief, touching this plant will cause strong winds to blow (an undesirable state). Given this belief, the hypothesis that the Seri people transplanted it is doubtful.

The trunk is up to 24 cm thick, with branches sticking out at right angles, all covered with small leaves 1.5-4 cm long. They can grow to a height of 20 m. The flowers bloom in summer and autumn; they occur in short racemes, and are creamy yellow with a honey scent.


*cite book |last=Felger |first=Richard |coauthors=Mary B. Moser. |title=People of the desert and sea: ethnobotany of the Seri Indians |location=Tucson |year=1985 |publisher=University of Arizona Press
*cite book |last=Moser |first=Mary B. |coauthors=Stephen A. Marlett |title=Comcáac quih yaza quih hant ihíip hac: Diccionario seri-español-inglés |url= |year=2005 |publisher=Universidad de Sonora and Plaza y Valdés Editores |location=Hermosillo, Sonora |language=Spanish and English


External links

* [ Germplasm Resources Information Network "Fouquieria columnaris"]
* [ Boojum "(Fouquieria columnaris)" at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden - Claremont, California]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • boojum tree — /booh jeuhm/ a tree, Idria columnaris, native to Baja California, having spreading spiny branches, deciduous leaves, and yellow flowers. Also called cirio. [1960 65; after the boojum, an imaginary creature invented by Lewis Carroll in the poem… …   Universalium

  • boojum tree — cirio cirio n. the candlewood of Mexico and couthwestern California ({Idria columnaris} or {Fouquieria columnaris}), having tall columnar stems and bearing honey scented creamy yellow flowers; called also the {boojum tree}. Syn: boojum tree,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • boojum tree — noun candlewood of Mexico and southwestern California having tall columnar stems and bearing honey scented creamy yellow flowers • Syn: ↑cirio, ↑Fouquieria columnaris, ↑Idria columnaris • Hypernyms: ↑candlewood • Member Holonyms: ↑Fouquieria, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Boojum — may refer to:*A particularly dangerous kind of Snark. *Boojum (superfluidity), a phenomenon in physics, associated with superfluid Helium 3. *The boojum tree ( Fouquieria columnaris ) of Baja California, with an isolated population in Sonora,… …   Wikipedia

  • Boojum — Cirio Cirio auf der Baja California in der Region Cataviña Systematik Ordnung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • boojum — noun Etymology: perhaps from boojum, an imaginary creature in The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll; from its grotesque appearance Date: 1951 a tall spiny long lived desert tree (Fouquieria columnaris syn. Idria columnaris) native to… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • boojum — noun a) A geometric pattern sometimes observed on the surface of superfluid helium 3 b) A species of tree (Fouquieria columnaris) native to Baja California, Mexico …   Wiktionary

  • List of major tree genera — The major tree genera are listed below. Flowering plants (Magnoliophyta; angiosperms) Dicotyledons (Magnoliopsida; broadleaf or hardwood trees)* Adoxaceae (Moschatel family) ** Moschatel, Adoxa moschatellina ** Elderberry, Sambucus species **… …   Wikipedia

  • Fouquieria columnaris — Boojum Tree Boojum tree at Baja California desert, Cataviña region. Scientific classification Kingdom: Pla …   Wikipedia

  • The Hunting of the Snark — (An Agony in 8 Fits) is a nonsense poem written by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) in 1874, when he was 42 years old. [ [ lewis/the hunting of the snark/ Poem as presented by]… …   Wikipedia