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Results tagged “august-01”

Aug 1, 2014: Gnetum gnemon

Gnetum gnemon

Today's photo is of Gnetum gnemon, of the Gnetaceae. This photo of the male strobili was uploaded to the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool by Mike Bush (aka aviac@Flickr). Many thanks, Mike!

Gnetum gnemon (PDF) is an evergreen tree native to southeastern Asia and the western Pacific Islands. It grows from tropical lowland forests to lower montane forests, ranging in elevation from near sea level to 1700 meters. It prefers well-draining sites in areas that receive 3000 to 5000mm of mean annual rainfall.

Gnetum gnemon, commonly called melinjo, is used extensively in cuisine. In Malaysian-Indonesian cuisine the young leaves, strobili, and young and ripe fruit are used in cooked dishes. The seeds are consumed raw, boiled, roasted, or processed by pounding the kernels into cakes or crackers. In Malaysia it is common to see young leaves and shoots in seafood dishes. In Vanuatu, the leaves and male strobili are boiled and flavoured with coconut cream. In Fiji, young leaves are cooked in coconut milk and the fruits are also consumed. You may find the fruits to be used as a substitute for coffee in the Philippines. In Papua-New Guinea, the leaves and young cones accompany meat and are often served with a sauce made from the red pulp of Pandanus conoideus.

This species also has medicinal and practical uses. The sap has been used in traditional medicine to treat eye complications. The timber from the wood is utilized for beams for houses, tool handles, and box-making. The wood may also be made into paper or used for fuel. In Papua-New Guinea, the bast fibres (phloem fibre) under the outer bark are sometimes used for making cordage for string bags, bowstrings on musical instruments and fishing lines.

Aug 1, 2012: Kettle Mountain Meadows

I thought I'd add a visual coda to the series on colours in plants, since Bryant is feeling under the weather today. These photographs are from last weekend's near-solitary field-trip up to the peak of Kettle Mountain while I was attending Botany BC. As of a few weeks ago, these meadows formed part of the northeast edge of the Cascade Recreation Area, but they have now been added to E.C. Manning Provincial Park. One hopes that this might mean additional enforcement in dealing with those who despoil the meadows by driving off-trail (examples of both responsible and irresponsible use if one searches Youtube for "Whipsaw" and "Trail").

Aug 1, 2011: Hibiscus brackenridgei

Hibiscus brackenridgei

Alexis is the author of today's entry:

Today we feature another plant endemic to Hawaii. Thank you to Karl Magnacca who shares his photograph of Hawaii's state flower, ma`o-hau-hele or yellow hibiscus, from his website.

Hibiscus brackenridgei is one of six native Hawaiian hibiscus species, most of which are endemic to the Islands. It grows as a tall shrub or small tree, naturally occurring in dry forests and shrub lands. Now extremely rare in the wild, this species exists mainly under cultivation in parks and gardens. In 1923, hibiscus was declared the state flower and many considered this to be the native red hibiscus. It was not until 1988 that Hawaii's State Legislature specified the yellow Hibiscus brackenridgei as the state flower.

Though its physical form varies from island to island, there are generally two subspecies: Hibiscus brackenridgei subsp. brackenridgei on Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii, and Hibiscus brackenridgei subsp. mokuleianus, on Kauai and Oahu. The latter is distinguished (in part) by having tiny spines on the branches as well as leaves with more serrated margins and pink veins; there are also tiny spines on the branches. Both subspecies are listed as Endangered.

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