Saturday, May 23, 2009

Amorphophallus atroviridis

A. atroviridis is one of the more ornamental species of this group of carrion imitating aroids, – medium size, pretty in and out of bloom. As such, it is very commonly encountered in ebay and specialty nurseries and have been grown commercially in Thailand for the horticulture trade. The latin name means dark green, - a referral to the dark velvety leaf with red margins, but there is actually some degree of variation as I also has one specimen with rather plain green leaves.

The inflorescence (its actually a collection of flowers, not a single flower)is pretty conventional for Thai Amorphophallus and is characterised by the very long sterile spadix. I did not notice any smell at all, although experience tells me it is emmitted only certain times of the day - I had noticed previously that variabilis smells only at night.

To really make a confirmed identification, one needs to cut up the flower and look at the parts below - well I can't bear to do it ....or perhaps I am just too plain lazy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Curio from Borneo

A nameless Begonia, my second attempt to grow this delicate species.

Any ID suggestions welcome !

Friday, May 15, 2009

Seeing Medusa

Devil and the Deep blue sea behind me
Vanished in the air your'll never find me
I will turn your face to alabaster
then you'll know your servant is your master.
- Sting -

Bulbophyllum medusae from lowlands of SE Asia. Named after the snake-haired gorgon that turned amorous men to stone.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The black Hoya

No the title was not wrong - the common name of this giant vine from The Phillippines is indeed black Hoya, which is a misnomer. That's why I usually prefer the latin name, Hoya ciliata, which perhaps refers to the hairy leaves, a trait it shares with many Hoyas from Eriostemma Section. Again this is a shy bloomer for me, although some growers said they are free flowering - perhaps they just do not like the constant high humidity and fairly monotonous weather here. Without flower, I would easily have mistaken it for a H. coronaria or even a "Gold-Star"; so now that it has flowered, I tied labels all along the length of the vine.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

NetWork Pepper

Young leaf of an unknown creeping Piper from Borneo. There are many nicely patterned Piper from the forests around this region (for example this Piper porphoryphyllum) but they are generally not easy to grow. This rather succulent creeper is also quite a slow grower.

If you can ID this, please let me know.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Its all smoke

Here, we have the oldest rainforest in the world, one which survives the ice age and bears witness to numerous wars man waged with himself ; " a joyous exuberance of life and vigour" as described by Italian adventurer G. B. Cerruti in his 1906 book.
And here, we have progress. Europeans pat themselves on the back for adoption of so called "sustainable energy" early this millenium ; new generators were enginereed to run on this green fuel; palm-oil prices soared and palm plantations and processing factories sprouted all over South East Asia.

Like all stories of progress, the old gave way to the new.

As I sat pondering, the customised 2500cc 4x4 gas-gustler ground to a halt and the driver gestured we have reached destination.

Man, I am sure glad I do not have to make this trip by foot.

Friday, May 1, 2009


21 00: Red eyed but still refusing to sleep....maybe because my torch is shining on him.

22 00: Disowned by his parents due to his rugged bad looks, the diffident Amblypygid hides in the cave and only appears at night.

22.30: Scuttering nervously across the floor, the cave cricket reminds himself that he's at the bottom of the food chain.

23 00: A cave racer greeting bats at the cave mouth. We are not welcome.

23 30: A stick insect blows his cover, and laments that he should have opted for longer wings, instead of the other...ahem, organ....

02 30: Living out the fantasy of every women, the female Trilobite beetle stays forever young and will always be seen dating an older looking male.

03 00: Red eyed and ....Oh, its you again !

We cannot sleep. There is a wild noisy party at the Pahang jungle

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