As i wandered through Lalbagh Gardens I found a stretch of trees that did not look like they were from these parts, or from this world at all. Standing amidst them, I felt like i was in hobbit-town.
What are these trees? i asked someone. "Gymnosperms".. "early trees" came the answer.To those of you in North America, they may be a common enough site; but sitting here in the tropics, these trees seem right out of a magic book.
The gymnosperms are a group of seed-bearing plants that includes conifers, cycads, Ginkgo and Gnetales. The term "gymnosperm" comes from the Greek word gymnospermos, meaning "naked seeds", after the unenclosed condition of their seeds (called ovules in their unfertilized state). Their naked condition stands in contrast to the seeds or ovules of flowering plants (angiosperms) which are enclosed during pollination.
The gymnosperms and angiosperms together comprise the spermatophytes or seed plants. By far the largest group of living gymnosperms are the conifers (pines, cypresses, and relatives), followed by cycads, Gnetales (Gnetum, Ephedra and Welwitschia), and Ginkgo (a single living species).
The mystic Cupressus lusitanica/ Cupressus lindleyi klotzsch (mexican cypress/cedar of goa)
And others, equally enchanting...