The Medusa Tree…
The temperatures have finally aligned with my taste. A sunny and breezy fifty five degrees means my family and I get to live our best life in Falls Park!
Would you believe this past week was my first time taking a picture of the Medusa Tree? This piece of historic horticulture is only one of the most popular spots in Greenville.
A Little History
In 1926, a group of women in Greenville got together and decided to coordinate their gardening efforts to beautify the city. The Greenville Gardening Club was born.
The club entered Better Homes and Gardens “Most Beautiful America” contest for their landscape of the Rock Quarry Park. They won 2nd Place and five hundred dollars! With the money they were awarded, Greenville Gardening Club partnered with the Greenville Park and Tree Commission and Furman University to create The Arboretum. The first arboretum was completed with over two hundred fifty species of trees.
The Medusa Tree is one of the remaining Beech Trees from the Old Arboretum. During the construction of Furman Way, (the former road, now part of the Swamp Rabbit Trail), the soil began to erode, exposing the infamous roots.
It’s not surprising that it’s been called The Medusa Tree. Like the Greek Gorgon, the strong, thick roots twist and turn down the embankment like slithering strands of hair. It also answers to the name, Root Tree.
Over time, passersby have thought it necessary to carve their name or initials into the tree. I’m not sure that’s the best idea. Shouldn’t we preserve this whimsical work of art and save our whittling skills for the trees in our own back yard? Plus, there’s a sign telling us not to.
Next time you’re in Falls Park, stop by and say hello. Be sure to tag us in your photos using the #greenville360 hashtag!
Did you miss your recent post about The Furman Bell Tower? You can check it out here!