Monday, July 14, 2008

Something Different, Something Great!

I wasn't able to post for about two days recently due to a minor hiccup in my computer system. As at today(14/7) things are normalising. There is however something great happening at the farm. I had planted one species of the wild banana(Musa violascens) about a year ago at the farm. Towards the end of last week I noticed a remarkable show. The wild banana tree ( note that this wild species will only attain a maximum of 6 feet) has started to flower. Below is the banana plant which I collected a year ago from the Bintulu Water Catchment area. So far I have only two stands of this species. This one is at the outer section of the Heliconia Valley Project area and planted next to a big tree stump for micro-climatic reasons. True to the banana family, they need the sun to flower. At this location it receives the afternoon and evening sun at its optimum.

Below is how it look today in close up. Typical of wild bananas, the inflorescence are upright., unlike the common banana that has purple bracts and pendulous, the wild banana here has lilac( i.e. pale-pinkish violet bracts). Wild bananas need to be pollinated, some say by bats, others say by birds and a few others say by bees. Nothing so conclusive. Because nobody bothers to really study them in the jungle!!!

Anyway, the bats, birds and bees are always attracted to the flower due to its colour, sour-sweet smell and nectar. Its peculiar colour and dwarf status makes it a popular choice of landscapers for its curiosity value and architecture.

Truly such a magnificent show at the beginning stage( taken a few days earlier) keeps me excited at composing a display soon.....Hopefully by tomorrow.

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