Saturday, September 6, 2008

100 Species Challenge (10-14)

I'm in my fourth week of the 100 Species Challenge initiated by Sarah Sours. You can read my previous entry here.

My species list thus far:
1. Shy grass
2. Lantana
3. Creeping fig
4. Ginger lily
5. Asian sword fern
6. Hibiscus
7. Bougainvillea
8. Chinese honeysuckle
9. Guava

And now for this week:

1o. Eupatorium riparium

Commonly known as the Mistflower, it is found growing wild anywhere it fancies here. It is considered a weed, but I've always liked the little purple flowers. The blooms also come in white or blue, but many refer to them as blue mistflowers. To me, they look like little starbursts. The plant is also called Creeping Croftonweed in some places. I read that the flowers can be used as a tanning agent. I'm not sure if we mean suntans or leather here, lol.

11. Pine

We know these trees as pine, but I'm not sure what kind - the scraggly kind? lol If you recognize it, please let me know what kind it is. Thanks.

12. Plumeria

Commonly known in the Philippines as Kalachuchi, these blooms are considered flowers for the dead here (ditto in Bangladeshi culture). I used to think that this was because they were probably used in wreaths or because they were always found growing in graveyards, but it seems that local Southeast Asian folklore has it that the plants serve as shelter to ghosts and demons. Hmm, the flowers are pretty anyway (used to form leis in polynesian culture). The scent is quite heady, but it doesn't matter because we've been trained to be spooked by it (the flowers being associated with death and all). I personally like it. Locals who are not aware that plumeria is the same as kalachuchi have no qualms buying plumeria-scented perfumes. Better not tell them, lol.

13. Acacia

We just call them acacia trees and lovely shaded streets (shade is always nice in the tropics) usually have a line of them growing on the sides. The plant has many uses here. We may not be aware of it, but it is used in food, in folk medicine, in perfume, etc. It also called thorntree or wattle in other countries.

14. Adonidia

Known as the Manila Palm or the Christmas Palm because of the bright green and red berries (not sure if they're really inedible, but we don't eat them here; they turn red in December, btw). They're native only to us here in the Philippines, but they grow as ornamental plants in other parts of the world.

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