The spectacular golden trumpet tree can get up to 80 ft (24 m) tall in its native habitat, but is usually smaller, maybe 30-40 ft (9-10 m) tall, in cultivation. It has an open, spreading crown that makes for a lovely shade tree. The bright yellow trumpet shaped flowers are about 2 in (5 cm) long and arranged in compact clusters. The flowers are produced in late winter and early spring, just as the old leaves drop and before the new leaves begin emerging. Thus the leafless tree is completely yellow and quite a showstopper. The sweetly fragrant flowers last for a month or more, and when they fall they decorate the ground beneath with a yellow carpet. The leaves are palmately compound with five leaflets. They are up to 10 in (25 cm) across, and arranged opposite each other on the stems. The leaves are quite attractive in their own right. The seeds are borne in linear beanlike capsules around 10 in (25 cm) in length.
Asia is the biggest continent on Earth, a darling little gem floating around in space.Hm, what is Asia? Who's in on it?China and India are safe bets for Asian nations. Korea, Japan, Thailand, you're fine.Europe? No. Europe would sort of be on the "Asian continent" if not for those pesky Ural mountains dividing things up in the middle, and then also the whole lineage of kings and wealth and nations and the EU and all that "give me my respect" stuff.Russia would probably be happiest as its own continent, so for now we'll leave it in "Eurasia" and just hope the natural gas supplies keep flowing.Pakistan and Afghanistan are dang close to Asia, but politically they show up in "Middle East" news stories an awful lot. Verdict: Eurasia.I guess we'll actually have to consider everything from Turkey on eastward to be "Eurasian", although the moniker seems overlappitory of the territory.The Asian economy is now officially raging like a wild furnace of lava that consumes everything in its path. Japan has had the largest individual economy in Asia for decades, but it is forecast that both India and China will outstrip Japan within twenty years.China is the largest holder of United States debt and is positioned to become the world's next superpower, provided that Godzilla doesn't return and decide to stomp everybody back into the Shang Dynasty.Text by Steve Smith.