Living Rainforest Finally!

I know I promised the photos of the Living Rainforest that we visited near Pangbourne in England. Here are just a few. It was facinating walking around because every corner you turned was another interesting and sometimes rare species of life that exist somewhere on this planet of ours.

We’ll start with the Pitcher Plant. Its leaves form pitchers that lure insects inside. The insects are attracted to the nectar that is produced at the bottom of the pitcher.

There the insect is trapped and digested by the plant.

This second photo came at great peril I might add. Someone had to hold me by the waist as I leaned over to take the picture of the bug struggling near the bottom of the plant. You can see his poor spindly legs in the middle of the photo. I think he knew he was done for by then.

This next photo intrigued me. My daughter came running to me telling me I have to come see this. Well since the whole environment was like that and I took my time going over. She came back pulling my arm over to where she was and this is what I came upon. I was no more than one and a half feet away from this “flutterby” (as my 6yr old calls them) when I took this photo. There we at least 5 people in the area and the flutterby did not move a muscle to fly away.

The Swiss Cheese plant is aptly named. It’s large leaves resemble swiss cheese, duh! It’s upward climbing roots are used for ropes in Peru, made into baskets in Mexico and boiled to treat snake bites in Martinique!! I loved the way the leaves formed a canopy over our heads as we walked under them.

These roots were about 2 ft wide by 3 ft high.

There were so many different varieties of plants it’s hard to show them all here but I thought the swirl one was way cool…my kids hate to hear me say that, they say it sounds “so not cool Mummy”… so I say it all the time anyway, hee, hee. Anyway, enough about embarrasing my kids. The leaves swirl in bunches so there would be 3 or 4 of them on a branch.

Can you imagine a few of these trees in your garden and the leaves just swaying back and forth? How magical it would look especially when lying down on a large white hammock with a cool drink nearby and someone feeding you grapes…oops, sorry I got carried away there for a moment!

One thing that was not very pleasant was learning the facts about a particular flower, the Madagascar Rosy Periwinkle. I’m sorry that the photo is not a better one. It’s a native plant of Madagascar that has been horribly exploited because of the discovery of its anti-cancer properties by western pharmaceutical scientist.

Unfortunately the majority of the profits never made its way back to the country, one of the poorest in the world. Organizations are trying to rectify that but think of the millions lost so far (75 million pounds in profit for that industry) that the people of Madascar will never see. Shameful!

To end on a better note the other photo I have I really couldn’t post here on the web. If you want to see a picture of it you’ll have to email me and I’ll send it to you. As soon as you see it you’ll understand why. Whoa johnnie!

See ya next time “In the Hayloft”,


2 Responses to Living Rainforest Finally!

  1. Jill Smith says:

    Your photo’s of the plants are great so clear and colourful but what gave me a memory boost was the cheese plant as l had one in my house a few years ago till it took over and went to live a big office complex but did you know they cry, every morning there would be like tears dropping of each leaf and loved the way when opening they unfurl slowly over a few days,

  2. Grace says:

    What an interesting tidbit you add to the Cheese Plant, thanks. I think they are quite beautiful and showy myself. I had never heard of half the plants there but I was taking photo after photo to capture all that we saw. What a wonderful little place it was.

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