Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Spiny Licuala Palm ( Licuala spinosa )

Taking advantage of a fine spell from the rainy season of January, I quickly put on my long trousers, long sleeve shirt and jungle boots to have a fast walk behind my chalet at my eco-farm here in Bintulu. Growing below the vegetation island no.2 forest canopy, a five minutes walk from the chalet I noticed a solitary individual specimen of the spiny licuala palm (Licuala spinosa) was bearing flowers and in one branch have developed into seeds.

The stems of the licuala spinosa are short and cannot be seen clearly because it is hidden by the jungle dead leaves, fallen twigs or in the above picture a fallen tree trunk. The licuala spinosa is native to Borneo and also to other parts of South East Asia, India and China. The leaves are wedge-shaped, about 1-1.5 meters long and was about a meter higher from where I stood. In Bintulu, the Melanaus use them for thatching and in the making of the traditional hat called 'terendak'.

A CU view of the inflorescence showing flowers that are crowded and borne on a long branch.
Apparently it is not easy to come across a flowering licuala and therefore I consider myself lucky to have spotted one today complete with seeds though unripe.

1 comment:

Protege said...

Hello again; you have been absent for a week.;)) Glad you are back.;))
You have an eco-farm? How exciting! The pictures you post here remind me of a rain-forest. It is all very exotic to me; the only rain-forest in Scandinavia is the one that is created artificially in a biosphere.;))