Saturday, 30 January 2010

Sarikei : Rare Local Fruits

Salak, Snake fruit
Salacca zalacca

Asam Paya
Eleiodoxa conferta

Tematuk, Apong, Nipah, Atap zi
Nypa fruticans

Tebulus ( Melanau ), Engkalak ( Iban )
Litsea garciae

no idea...

Gnetum gnemon

Mangifera pajang

Limau Madu, 蜜柑
Citrus suhuensis

terung iban
Solanum macrocarpon

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Sagittaria sagittifolia - Arrowhead 芽菇

Sagittaria sagittifolia ( also called arrowhead due to the shape of its leaves, ) is a flowering plant in the family Alismataceae, the water-plantain family. The Sagittaria genus consists of about 20 species worldwide. It is native to wetlands throughout the temperate regions of Europe and Asia.

The name derived from Latin word sagitta, means an arrow.

It is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing in water from 10 – 50 cm deep. It forms 3 types of leaves : submerged ( ribbon-like ), floating leaves ( transitional in shape ), and above water ( arrow-head-shaped ). The arrowhead-shaped leaves’ blade 15 – 25 cm long and 10 – 22 cm broad, on a long triangular petiole holding the leaf up to 45 cm above water level. The flowers are monoecious, 2 – 2.5 cm broad, with 3 small sepals and 3 white petals, and numerous purple stamens. Fruits are achenes.

It requires a moist or wet loamy soil in a sunny position. Due to its C3 photosynthesis pathway, it cannot grow in the shade. It prefers shallow, still or slowly flowing water up to 30 – 60 cm deep. The plants are fairly cold tolerant, surviving temperatures down to at least -10°c, though the top growth is damaged once temperatures fall below zero. Average yield maybe 12 – 15 t/ha. Reproduction by floating seeds or vegetatively.

Sagittaria is a general nuisance in the crops’ irrigation systems, drains and waterways of more than 50 countries.

The tuber is edible. It is know as cígū (慈菇, literally mean "benevolent mushroom") or ya( 芽菇 ).

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Gardener #1

SERVANT . Have mercy upon your servant, my queen !

QUEEN . The assembly is over and my servants are all gone. Why do you come at his late hour?

SERVANT . When you have finished with others, that is my time.

I come to ask what remains for your last servant to do.

QUEEN . What can you expect when it is too late ?

SERVANT . Make me the gardener of you flower garden.

QUEEN . What folly is this ?

SERVANT . I will give up my other work.

I throw my swords and lances down in the dust. Do not send me to distant courts; do not bid me undertake new conquests. But make me the gardener of you flower garden.

QUEEN . What will you duties be ?

SERVANT . The service of you idle days.

I will keep fresh the grassy path where you walk in the morning, where your feet will be greeted with praise at every step by the flowers eager for death.

I will swing you in a swing among the branches of the saptaparna, where the early evening moon will struggle to kiss your skirt through the leaves.

I will replenish with scented oil the lamp that burns by your bedside, and decorate your footstool with sandal and saffron paste in wondrous designs.

QUEEN . What will you have for your reward ?

SERVANT . To be allowed to hold your little fists like tender lotus-buds and slip flower chains over your wrists; to tinge the soles of your feet with the red juice of ashoka petals and kiss away the speck of dust that may chance to linger there.

QUEEN . Your prayers are granted, my servant, you will be the gardener of my flower garden.

A poem translated from the original Bengali by the author in 1915
Rabindranath Tagore