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Re: The Many Faces of Taro

  • Subject: Re: The Many Faces of Taro
  • From: "mossytrail" <mossytrail@hctc.com>
  • Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 18:31:59 -0800

> Aloha.  From your Aroidiana article, I know you've
> been at large in Hawaii.  Were you studying
> naturalized aroids in Pohnpei?
>
I was only there four days, on vacation, so I didn't get
much studying in.  But I think all the aroids there are
naturalized.
  
> Now were you able to see ruins of Nan Madol?

Nan Madol is de rigeur when visiting Pohnpei.  Of course I
saw them.  The temple fortress, Nan Dowas, is the best
preserved and most accessible part.  Breadfruit and noni
both grow on the site.  Most of the rest of the complex is
overgrown with mangroves.

> How about Metroxylon amicarum, the Caroline Ivory Nut
> Palm?  Did you see any evidence of cutural
> associations with this species and are the native
> people currently utilizing any parts ethnobotanically?
>
That depends on what you mean by ethnobotanically.  If the
definition includes carving souvenir pendants for the
tourist trade, then yes.
 
Bear in mind the person who drew the illustration on
> the stamp OBVIOUSLY was not a taxonomist!   

It can certainly be a challenge to identify species in
non-scientific illustrations.

>Jason, what
> a great pity that you were not able to sample eating the
> corms of Cyrtosperma merkusii!   The word you can find on
> the edibility/taste of this plant in the literature are in
> general not very flattering, BUT---I had a friend in Asia
> who cultivated this plant in quantity around a pond, and
> he told me that in flavor and texture he prefered it to
> Colocasia!! I do hope that you came away with at least
> some good photos of Cyrtosperma plants which you can share
> with us??
> 
When my pictures come back, I will see if they are good.  If
so, I will have to scan them in order to share them --
that's right, I'm still in the Late Bronze Age when it comes
to photography; haven't switched over to digital yet.

And thank you for the updated nomenclature; I was using a
reprint of Glassman (1952), _Flora of Ponape_.

Jason Hernandez
Naturalist-at-Large
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