A sight that has continued to astonish me all summer: a drainpipe tree installed on the corner of the neighborhood iglesia!
Of course, the plants aren’t growing out of the actual drainpipe; they’re growing out of the brick wall itself. I suspect that the drainpipe-system has weakened the structure of the building, cracks have developed, dirt and seeds have lodged in the cracks, been watered by rains, and the plants have pushed their roots through the cracks in the bricks, worsening them as they grow. Or is it possible that some of these plants have actually made their way up from the ground through the wall?
It looks like one of these plants might actually be a type of tree itself! (Perhaps a Littleleaf Linden?) Lower down the wall, there are saplings of the same species creeping out from the cracks.
The “tree” is crowned with Goldenrod and little purple daisy-like flowers which i’m guessing is a species of Boltonia. I don’t know what the thick-stemmed, broad-leafed plant is lower-down. It’s hard to imagine that this huge weed’s root system (not to mention that of the Linden tree) could be contained within a crack of the wall.
If anyone has an idea of what’s going on here, or can help me identify any of these plants (or correct my guesses), please speak up! You can view a larger image of most of these photos by clicking on them.
Putting aside my admiration for plants and interest in crazy urban-plant phenomena, I must mention the obvious fact that this is seriously bad news for the iglesia. How long has it been this bad? I first noticed the “tree” back at the end of June, but it must have had its beginnings much earlier than that. And I haven’t seen any signs of anyone trying to tame this eruption of wilderness on the side of the church. I’m sure it would be very costly to fix the situation – I imagine it would involve taking apart and re-building the corner of the building! But if nothing is done, it is certain that the walls will begin to crumble…