Silver tree

Silver tree_19780001

Diana Newton
Silver tree, 1978
Watercolor and gouache
( 8.3 x 11.4 inches)
(21 x 29 cm)

In Botswana the trees, too, were delightfully new. I can still remember using white gouache to depict the almost powdery look of the pale green, young leaves on this watercolor. But why did I call it a "silver tree"? It definitely isn't the real "Silver tree" (Leucadendron argenteum) of the protea family. Maybe some one can help me identify the tree depicted here? I recall a rubbery feel to both the leaves and the young shoots and the silvery looking the tall tree. Miles away and decades later, a few feet from my office in Canada, a different tree stretches out its branches to me. It's a silver poplar (Populus alba). Almost white on one side, and dark green on the other, its leaves are the last to open up each spring. The slightest wind makes them tremble, producing a pleasing yet fleeting, silvery impression.