The world created by Dr. Seuss appears to be leaping out of children's books and into Texas, as something that looks like one of the Truffula trees in The Lorax has been spotted at the Atlanta State Park.
The Truffula Tree
The children's book The Lorax described the Truffula tree as a slow-growing tree that takes 10 years to sprout into a sapling and another 10 years to become fully grown. Illustrations show the Truffula tree having a colorful, lollipop-like appearance.
The mysterious object spotted at the Atlanta State Park has an interestingly similar appearance to the Truffula tree.
Truffula Tree-Like Object Spotted At Atlanta State Park
A park ranger found the strange and colorful object, with its dark red polka-dotted fuzzy top, amid dry brown leaves at the park in Atlanta, Texas on March 14.
The object may look like a Truffula tree-like flower but it turns out that it is not a flower at all. The Atlanta State Park said that the seed pod, which from afar looks like a dandelion flower, is a wool sower gall, also known as oak seed gall. Galls are abnormal plant growths that are caused by insects, bacteria, or fungi.
"These are created when a wool sower wasp lays its eggs in a white oak. When the eggs hatch in spring, chemicals on the grubs stimulate the plant to produce this gall, which provides food and protection for the growing wasps," the Park said on Facebook.
Different Kinds Of Wool Sower Gall
Wool sower galls usually start to appear around May or June but because of mild winter, Atlanta State Park superintendent Sam Knox said they expect to see some of these earlier this year. Knox said he has not seen one specifically like the one spotted by the ranger, adding it was very unique and popped out very early in the year.
Jeremiah Allen, a Houston resident who has seen galls in Sam Houston National Forest and nearby areas, said that he has seen many different wool sower galls and not all were as bright and colorful as the one at the Atlanta State Park. He said that the color may possibly depend on the type of wasp and the kind of plant that the insects used. The Park also said that the appearance and color of the galls change over time.
"The galls only look this way for a short period of time before turning brown," the Atlanta State Park said.
Based On Real Tree Species
The Truffula tree in The Lorax is based on a real species of tree that Dr. Seuss has seen. The Lorax, which was first published in 1971, tells the plight of the environment and the character Lorax who speaks for the trees.
Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel, also wrote How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cat In the Hat, and Green Eggs and Ham. He published more than 40 books before he died in September 1991.