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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sloppy Botanizing in Haiti - 1985

sugar cane fields

This is going to be a slipshod plant tour. In 1985 my interest in serious botanizing was just beginning. It wasn't until 1986 that I was challenged by a professor to begin learning the Latin names, and the characteristics of plant families. So all you will see are some things that caught my untrained eye.

The picture above is taken from the plane as we approached Port-au-Prince. We were told that it was mostly sugar cane fields.

resort with palmHere is a cottage at the resort where we stayed the first three nights. This is the tourist Haiti, and there is a little bit of that along the coast. It was a mid-range tropical paradise postcard setting. There was an outdoor bar, restaurant, pool, and as you can see palm trees waving above thatched roof cottages. The lower plants with large leaves are banana, and I don't know what the darker green shrub is.


Also at this resort were hibiscus in bloom.

banana treeHere is a banana tree in blossom (the big pink pendulum), and the bunch of bananas growing along the branch above the flower. Although almost every conservatory in the US (I think I've seen one at all the ones I've visited), seems to have a banana tree, it was pretty cool to see one just growing outside. I'm sure that my worldwide blogging friends from warmer climates won't think that this is odd at all!

pink flowers

I would be happy for any input on these from worldwide friends! I believe that the large pink flowers are some morning glory or a cousin. I have no idea what the darker pink ones are.

cana lilies and castor bean

I'm repeating a picture from yesterday. The flowers planted along the fence are Cana lily and castor bean. These don't seem exotic at all, since many gardeners, even as far north as I am, plant these. The Cana lilies must be taken up every winter and the castor bean is an annual anyway. There is also a shrub there with smaller red-pink flowers. I don't know what that is.

mimosa treeThis is my favorite! And I'm not sure of the identification. Frankly, it looks like a dead tree with pom-poms tied on. The closeup of the blossom is below. That leads me to believe that it is a mimosa. Yet, any mimosa I've seen had leaves when it was blooming. So, again, if anyone actually knows what this is, I'd be glad for the info!

mimosa flower

Tomorrow, I'll tell you why I've had an interest in Haiti for so many years.

See Reclaiming Haiti's Environment
See Poverty in Haiti - 1985
See Interacting with Haitians - 1985
See Tasks on the 1985 Haiti Trip
See A Trip to Haiti in 1985


RE - Recycled Frockery said...

Great Post. wowww, I've subscribed and bought an ad; I'll be back to see the reason you have the interest in haiti. it must be genuine.

Anonymous said...

The Belle Isle Conservatory in Detroit has about 4-5 banana trees. It's wonderful to see.

Hopefully Haiti can rebuild after the devastation of the earthquake!

Ann said...

On the last picture that is such an interesting looking blossom. Can't help on what it is since I couldn't even tell you that it resembled a mimosa.

Secondary Roads said...

Love the blossoms. I never realized that bananas came in so many different varieties until we lived in Ecuador. They had some finger-sized ones there that were reddish in color and had the most wonderful flavor. I've never seen them here.

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Auset- I'm so glad you found this interesting. I'm tickled pink that I've apparently been able to provide some background for the current events in Haiti, to several people.

Icy- Those banana trees really are weird, aren't they?

Ann- no problemo! Maybe someone will know.

Hi Chuck- I'll bet the tropical plants were abundant in Ecuador! I've seen some little red bananas, but I'm not sure they are the same as the ones you had.

Glynis Peters said...

I live close by the banana plantations of Cyprus and see a vast amount of plants. The bananas here are small and oh so sweet and lovely. I do not know what the pretty fronzed plant is, it looks almost oriental. The deeper pink flower looks the same colour and size as our Bourganvilla.
Interesting post :)

Sharkbytes said...

Glynis- Bourganvilla, eh? I read about that in books, but didn't know what it looks like! Thanks

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