Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Flowering and fruiting jungle lianas

There is always an explosion of flowers and fruits in the jungle during the rainy season. Came across many flowering woody lianas in the jungle recently. Some had finished flowering and were already producing fruits.

A small colorful butterfly inspecting the flowers of a liana.

“Liana” is a common name for any of several species of climbing vines and there are many woody, hard-wood vines in the tropical jungles of Borneo.

Flowers of a liana.

Flowers of a liana. I did not detect any smell.

A jungle vine or liana heavy with inflorescences.

A vine full of flowers.

Each inflorescence produces flowers which are opened a few at a time.

And here are two photos of a different liana vine in fruit. These were taken in a different jungle area on a different day than the photos above.

The fruits look like giant peanuts. They are about a 5” long and roughly 1.5” wide.

I have actually eaten the fruits of a liana which look similar to the ones pictured here. I do not know if they are the same species but they too look like giant peanuts and grow on a jungle vine (probably have the photo somewhere on my external drive but too lazy to sift through 70GB of photos).

The type I tried had to be cut open and the flesh boiled for a long time before eating. The outer skin is tough and the inside is just like a potato, tasting a bit like one too. Actually it tasted of both potato and peanut.

If you find them in the jungle, don’t go harvesting the fruits yourself and trying them. I only ate those harvested by “experts” who have years of experience living off the jungle when they were small. I would not know which is edible and which is not myself.


levia said...

Will you be returning to the same place anytime soon ? I'm interested to see the caterpillars of the lycaenid butterfly that's laying eggs on the flowers :)

sarawaklens said...

Levia, my answer is two years too late! LOL I'm sure the eggs have hatched and several generations of butterflies have been produced since I was last at this place. And to answer your question, no, I haven't been back there for ages. :)

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