Pwunso Botanic Garden

25 September 2007

This term I opted to shoot primarily shots of the class in the garden. Images from prior terms includes many images of the plants of the garden.

Once upon a time the Pwunso botanic garden was vast fields of pineapple...

pwunso_agstation (84K)

And the driveway was stately.

pwunso_driveway (73K)

Images courtesy of David Lorence of the National Tropical Botanic Garden.

The students arrived by bus from the Palikir campus. John and Jörg were among the first to arrive from the bus. Ihney was already at the garden. I started by opening a false or yellow mangosteen (looks orange to me!) fruit I had pre-picked with the class' fruit picker. The first tree encountered is the clove tree.

Pertin and Jorg Clove trees

From there we looked at the trees now considered to be Araucaria heterophylla. These trees are not males as I had been previously led to believe. I am now led to believe that the female cones are simply high on the tree near the top and apparently distintegrate up there. From there we looked at the Cinnamomum verum - once mistakenly thought to me to be Cinnamomum carolinense. The more I learn the less I am certain of. Armed with the new flora by David Lorence, Tim Flynn, and Diane Ragone, we continued on to the tree now thought to be Cycas circinalis, not Cycas rumphii. Finally we hit the coffee and the black pepper. The coffee is likely Coffea robusta and the black pepper is the one thing that I remain somewhat certain of - Piper nigrum. Then the class moved on to the clove trees - the high point of the tour from my perspective. This year I came prepared - I had stashed an 18 inch machete in the branches of one of the trees so I could get the nut open. Just past the clove trees I grabbed a shot of Pertin and Maimi.

09251390pertin_maimi (68K)

The class walked past the carambola tree (star fruit). A student asked where the fruits were when the upper branches of the tree began to move. As we looked up we saw two young students up high in the tree. Fruit question answered. Farther down the road we looked up at the kapok and mahogany. The garden has so many wonders and great trees of the tropical world.

09251391class (75K) 09251392stallone (73K)

John was busy photographing the class as well.

09251393john_cam (63K)

The Calophyllum inophyllum tree is found on high islands and atolls alike. A student from an atoll stood there in front of the tree, looked down at the muddy ground, and exclaimed, "This tree cannot grow [in this place]... it is an atoll tree." Although the tree has names in Pohnpei and Kosrae, none of the students from these islands could recall its name. A couple were not only sure it had a name, but it was clearly on the tip of their tongue as we say in English. Both the Chuukese students and the student from Pollap knew the name right off. In Kosrae the tree is ituc, on Pohnpei isou, in Chuuk rekich. The Yapese students were not certain the tree is found on Yap. I would be surprised if is not as there is one as close as Ulithi.

Calophyllum inophyllum

Lyna and Midion.

Lyna and Midion