(Entry @ 29 Oct 2007: Added own thoughts on the oil palm issue)
Just a few hours ago (around 6pm), I tagged along with the NTU Earthlink to do a recce around Yunnan Garden. The purpose of the recce was to find out what plants does the garden have, as NTU Earthlink is planning is to do a nature walk there next year. And we were lucky to have Dr Shawn Lum with us to point out to us the many plants found in the garden.
Here are two photos (picture below) taken from the garden.
Anyway, Dr Shawn showed everyone loads of things around garden, so here's some of them.
First 'discovery' is a oil palm (picture below).
1. The oil palm tree is a tropical plant which commonly grows in warm climates.
2. This tree produces one of the most popular edible oils in the world – a versatile oil of superb nutritional value.
3. Oils harvested from the oil palm can be used for the production of soap and edible vegetable oil
4. The world's largest producer and exporter of palm oil today is
5. And the Oil palm has both male and female flowers on the same tree.
But the great commerical value of the oil palm had lead to destruction of many forests in Malaysia and Indonesia, a quick google search landed me with an organisation lobbying against this, click here to read more about them.
Personally, i support sustainable development, what these organisations (above) are just another point of view from their viewpoint, as manta mentioned: "the Palm Oil Actions are due to conflict of interests and are commercially motivated. These are mainly by soya oil manufacturing countries..... the reasons is clear! You know who they are.... they even have medical reports, research...so & so claimed that palm oil is bad for health... the real victims are rubber plantations industries." I believe what manta has pointed out to me can be true and therefore the organisation of Palm Oil Action might have another motive for doing what they do.
Thanks to manta for pointing the above out, i didn't know about this before. So now i've learned of something new. =)
Anyway, the second 'discovery' are some cycads (picture below).
1. Cycads are a group of seed plants characterized by a large crown of compound leaves and a stout trunk.
2. They are frequently confused with and mistaken for palms or ferns, but are related to neither, belonging to the division Cycadophyta.
3. Cycads are found across much of the subtropical and tropical parts of the world.
4. They are able to grow in full sun or shade, and some are salt tolerant.
5. Some are renowned for survival in harsh semi-desert climates, and can grow in sand or even on rock.
6. Though they are a minor component of the plant kingdom today, they were extremely common during the Jurassic period.
Third 'discovery' was this tree (picture below).
Let's us look at the flowers (from two different trees of the same species) and try to guess what tree is this... (pictures below)
1. This is the trumpet tree, a wonderful small tree which features masses of showy golden yellow, pink or purple tubular flowers shaped like a trumpet.
2. Also known as Tabebuia
3. It is easy to grow and loves full sun.
4. This tree is known to be native to Central and South America and the West Indies.
Side Note: For a beautiful photo of the tree and its flowers, click here.Fourth 'discovery' is the hop tree, Arfeuillea arborescens (picture below).
Flowers of the tree (picture below)
1. A member of the bean family.
2. Otherwise, i cannot find other information on this tree. Would anyone who knows more about this tree care to enlighten me? Thanks =)
There were many other things which i do not have the time right now to show everyone. But there will be another time. =)
Finally, would like to thank NTU Earthlink for letting me join them for the recce and Dr Shawn Lum for being there to let us in on so many things. Thanks, everyone ;)