Duck’s foot, Pterospermum grandiflorum (Sterculiaceae/Malvaceae). Dokmai Garden, April 2, 2012.
I never even heard of Sterculiaceae, I had to look it up in Wikipedia. It doesn’t matter because the foto is lovely, please keep ’em coming! Thanks.
Yes, many tropical families are unheard of in temperate areas. Therefore, even in the rare case you do get a scientific name when visiting a tropical garden, it may not help you at all. You need more information and preferably somebody to speak to. To meet these needs we set up Dokmai Garden.
Many people said our 600 000 Baht investment in 500 aluminium signs with names and facts in three languages was a waste of money, why not let people borrow a catalogue and then just number the plants? The problem is that small labels still disappear, and nobody has the strength to look up number 348 when it is 35°C. Better provide information just at a glance, and preferably also offer a skilled guide who can answer questions. A boring-looking plant may be amazingly interesting or delicious.
Another technique discussed in 2006 was to use cell phones and a local network for information about our plants, but that is expensive and with 3G I do think that system is already obsolete. I personally find headphones boring, expensive and of constant need of repair. The chit-chat is our success.
Most welcome here everybody!
I definitely plan to visit your gardens (during my honeymoon in August!). When I worked in botanical gardens we would find labels swapped around very Monday morning, that certainly helped me to get to know the plants. We have around 3000 vascular plants in Switzerland including about 1000 grasses. I knew about half of them but this kind of knowledge just leaks away when you don’t stay with it every day.
I myself would be happy to buy an ‘amateurs guide to tropical botany’ referring to plants in your gardens, if you had one.
Honeymoon – lovely – and most welcome here!
A good start to grasp some edible tropical plants is my book on tropical fruits and vegetables. Ask your local book dealer to order it for you or buy it when you come here. Another excellent book is Llama’s book on tropical gardening plants.
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Dokmai Garden is a private Chiang Mai botanical garden, providing a gateway to the understanding of the nature and culture of northern Thailand. To visit Dokmai Garden's webpage, click on the image of the Buddha hand above.
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