Saturday, July 17, 2010

This fruit can be unusual for you!

This fruit is unusual for me, and i assume it is unusual for you too, Pandanus species, with multiple fruits. That means this is a bunch of fruits, not unlike a bunch of bananas, or a bunch of grapes. But the nearest similar in appearance is the pineapple, also a multiple fruit fused together in the pineapple fruit we are very familiar with.

I took these photos in Batanes, a group of islands in the northernmost tip of the Philippines. It is nearer toTaiwan than to Manila, which is 50 min by plane. In fact there was this joke that in Batanes you can hear the sounds of roosters when they croak every hour through the night.

But this plant is common also in other parts of the country especially near the seashores, where most of the resorts in the country are located. I have also glanced at a single fruiting plant near the Station I of Boracay.

 Several fruit bunches are born by this plant, and they almost ripened at the same time.

The plants are mostly seen in clusters near the seashores or top of the coral cliffs. Batanes islands are mostly uplifted corals, and lots of these Pandanus utilis plants are growing there.

Bigger older plants, which are almost like trees serve as roof  shelters for these carabaos in Imnajbu, Batan Island.  A herd of them lives in these quarters.

These are multiple fruits at closer view. Please look at the individual fruits detached from the bunch. I am not actually familiar with the use of the fruits, however our tour guide, Joax, informed me that these are eaten by the coconut crabs, which are common delicacy in the area.

Postcript: thanks to Floridagirl for the ID, Pandanus utilis.
For more information about this palm, origin, utilization and function please visit:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Dancing Lady

As a rejoinder to Autumn Belle's post i would love to post also my 'Dancing Lady', another species of Oncidium. This has been very dear to me as it was given by my landlady in college, as a souvenir. And it has been growing on its own in the province basically on its own, sometimes my mother water it, mostly don't. It has already been a fixture attached to a lanzones tree (Lansium domesticum), which suffered so much from the hot-dry season and was not able to recover!

Something wonderful happened to the Oncidium though! For a few years now i suppose it is virus infected, as Oncidium varieties are really very susceptible to viruses. The flower buds just die and most of the time only 2-3 buds continue to open. So we just left it there, self supporting. Come this very dry season, when many fruit trees died and no annuals endured the very hot weather. Even with the leaves turning yellow due to extreme sun, this Oncidium flowered as it always does, but this time all the buds opened and spread its wonderful sweet scent especially in the mornings. It continued to be there for six (6) weeks now. Probably the virus become dormant due to the extreme heat. But that is only a speculation, as i am sure it is still there. I will see this rainy season if the flower buds will continue to abort.

If only i can share its scent here, it is really awesome, sweet and wonderful.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Can't think of a Title Here!

I am supposed to post this later this month for the Hot, Loud and Proud Meme, but i cannot resist the proddings of my fingers to just post them now!

Lagerstroemia speciosa is a a big tree which profusely flowers in summer. This is a native in Southeast Asia specifically India and the Philippines. In Pilipino, this tree is called "banaba". The first 3 photos however, is already a cultivated one, and the trunk is already shorter and flowers are more abundant than the native variety. For the Eastern countries like the Philippines, these are used for medicinal purposes, as the leaves are made into tea or in capsulized forms for lowering blood sugars or for kidney problems.

The next 2 photos are of the bushy type Lagerstroemia indica, might probably be the already hybridized form.

In the West these are called Crape Myrtles, and fully domesticated, hybridized to several colors and varieties. These are seen profusely flowering along their streets, parks and landscapes.

Thorough discussions can be seen  HERE, and HERE.

I shared this post in Today's Flowers .

Thursday, July 1, 2010

More for the Hot, Loud and Proud Meme

I have saved these photos in the Post site but has not properly located the names of the first 2 photos. Surely they are all from Family Rubiaceae. However, the first two photos' scientific names elude me until now. They grow like a bush or small tree and terribly beautiful in full sun. Butterflies and insects love them too.
(P.S. Thanks to Stephanie of  Steph's Garden for the ID of the first 2 photos: Carphalea kirondron)

Photos 3, 4 and 5 are  Ixora javanica. They also perform well even in partially shaded areas. They grow tall if not pruned. Reports show they have anti tumor properties.

Photo No. 6 is the Ixora coccinea, the dwarf counterpart. It has many hybrids and colors. Most Rubiaceae plants taste splendid for butterflies. I think maybe they love them because they don't need to go far for the nectar. They just transfer their proboscis from one flower to another within an umbel, and not waste lots of energy in flying. For photographers, it is easier to shoot them while in these flowers.

The next 3 photos grow, at least in our garden, 2-3 meters high.

Next photo is I. coccinea, dwarf and easy to maintain

Hi Noel, i am late in posting!
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