Sunday, July 22, 2007

Coastal forest specials

Here are some showy and interesting plants that you might come across in the coastal forest of Chek Jawa.

False coffee plant (
Fagraea racemosa)
These tall bushy plants grow under the rubber trees in the coastal forest near Chek Jawa. Once in a while, they produce large white flowers that turn into bright green fruits.

Wild ixora (
Ixora congesta)
Called 'Jarum jarum' in Malay, which means 'bunch of needles'. Quite appropriate a name especially before the buds of the orange flowers open. These wild cousins of our garden ixora only bloom occasionally. But when they do, the dark gloomy floor is splashed with colour.

These vigorous climbing palms can be seen from the boardwalk. Their antennae-like tips poking out of the forest canopy. Rattans usually have lots of spines everywhere to help them clamber up trees to reach the sunlight. The spines on leaves often catch on forest trekkers' clothing. So the plant is sometimes also called the 'wait-a-minute' plant.

Rattans produce fruits encased in a scale-like covering. Some are edible.

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