Saturday, May 13, 2017

Captives Birds @ Putrajaya Wetlands Park

Monday, April 17, 2017

Seremban : Wild Mushroom

kulat kukur / kulat sisir
Schizophyllum commune

cendawan busut
Termitomyces heimii

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Toona sinensis - 香椿

Toona sinensis, with common names Chinese mahogany, Chinese toon, or red toon (Chinese: 香椿; Hindi: daaraluu; Malay: suren; Vietnamese: tông dù) is a species of Toona native to Asia.

The young leaves of T. sinensis are extensively used as a vegetable in China; they have a floral, yet onion-like flavor, attributed to volatile organosulfur compounds. Plants with red young leaves are considered of better flavour than those where the young leaves are green.
The timber is hard and reddish; it is valuable, used for furniture making and for bodies of electric guitars. 

Outside of its native region T.sinensis is valued more as a large ornamental tree for its haggard aspect.  It is by far the most cold-tolerant species in the Meliaceae and the only member of the family that can be cultivated successfully in northern Europe.

It is a deciduous tree growing to 25 metres (82 ft) tall with a trunk up to 70 cm diameter. 
The bark is brown, smooth on young trees, becoming scaly to shaggy on old trees. 
The leaves are pinnate, 50–70 cm long and 30–40 cm broad, with 10–40 leaflets, the terminal leaflet usually absent (paripinnate) but sometimes present (imparipennate); the individual leaflets 9–15 cm long and 2.5–4 cm broad, with an entire or weakly serrated margin. 

The flowers are produced in summer in panicles 30–50 cm long at the end of a branch; each flower is small, 4–5 mm diameter, with five white or pale pink petals. 
The fruit is a capsule 2–3.5 cm long, containing several winged seeds.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mini Mobile Water Container

a simple attachment of stopcock at the cap

a 20 liter container behind a pickup truck

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dacryodes edulis

Dacryodes edulis or safou is a fruit tree native to Africa, sometimes called Atanga (Gabon), Ube (Nigeria), African pear, bush pear,  African plum, Nsafu, bush butter tree, or butterfruit.

Dacryodes edulis is an evergreen tree attaining a height of 18–40 m in the forest but not exceeding 12 m in plantations. It has a relatively short trunk and a deep, dense crown.
The bark is pale gray and rough with droplets of resin.
The leaves are a compound with 5-8 pairs of leaflets. The upper surface of the leaves is glossy.
The flowers are yellow and about 5 mm across. They are arranged in a large inflorescence. The tree flowers at the beginning of the rainy season and bears fruits during 2 to 5 months after flowering.
The fruit is an ellipsoidal drupe which varies in length from 4 to 12 cm. The skin of the fruit is dark blue or violet, whereas the flesh is pale to light green.
There are two variants of Dacryodes edulis: edulis and parvicarpa. The fruit of edulis is larger and the tree has stout, ascending branches. parvicarpa has smaller fruit and slender, drooping branches.

Habitat and Range
The preferential habitat of D. edulis is a shady, humid tropical forest. However, it adapts well to variations in soil type, humidity, temperature and day length.
The natural range extends from Angola in the South, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in the West and Uganda in the East. It is also cultivated in Malaysia, apparently.

The main use of D. edulis is its fruit, which can be eaten either raw, cooked in salt water or roasted. Cooked flesh of the fruit has a texture similar to butter. The pulp contains 48% oil and a plantation can produce 7-8 tons of oil per hectare. The fat content of this fruit is much higher compared to fruits such as apple, guava, and pawpaw.  It is also rich in vitamins. The kernel can be used as fodder for sheep or goats. The flowers are useful in apiculture. Shade tolerant traditional crops, such as Xanthosoma sagittifolium and taro can be co-cultivated with D. edulis.

The wood of D. edulis is elastic, greyish-white to pinkish. The wood has general use for tool handles, and occasionally for mortars, and is suitable for carpentry.

The seed of Dacryodes edulis is rich in different proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, crude fibres, appreciable amounts of potassium, calcium, magnessium and phosphorus. It is also rich in essential amino acids such as Lysine, Phenylalanine, Leucine, Isoleucine. It contain a considerable amount of fatty acis such as palmitic acis, oleic acis and Linoleic acids.   Physicochemical analysis suggested that the seed have valuable functional attributes of industrial interest

The tree is also a source of many herbal medicines. It has long been used in the traditional medicine of some African countries to treat various ailments such as wound, skin diseases, dysentery and fever. The extracts and secondary metabolites have been found to show biological activities such as antimicrobial, antioxidant  and anti sickle-cell disease.[citation needed] A wide range of chemical constituents such as terpenes, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids and saponins have been isolated from the plant.

The resin is sometimes burnt for lighting or used as a glue.

The tree is used as an ornamental plant and is known to improve soil quality by providing large quantities of biomass.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Seremban : Tembusu Chopping Boards

The Tembusu wood is a very hard wood, normally used to make chopping boards.  The wood is resistant to termites and weevils, thus can last very long, some over 100 years.

Tembusu is Fagraea fragrans, a large slow-growing evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Garcinia parvifolia - kundong

Kundong ( Sarawak Iban ) is Garcinia parvifolia, a member of the Clusiaceae family.  The specific name, parvifolia, refers to its small leaf; while Garcinia is named after a French botanist Laurent Garcin.

Native to the Malesia ecozone, the fruit is highly esteemed in Sarawak.  Naturally grown in primary and secondary rainforest, it can be propagated by seeds.  The tree is sometimes planted as ornamental in parks and gardens.

The fruit is round to elliptic, up to 40mm in diameter.  Brilliant red in colour, with 1-8 seeds covered in white, succulent, sweet pulp. 

The fruit is consumed raw or cooked.  It has a juicy, white pulp with a delicious sweet-tart flavor, almost similar of its cousin mangosteen ( Garcinia mangostana ). 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Landscape : Curbing the Curbs 3

If the main role of road curbs are to keep vehicles on the road, and preventing them off the green area and especially walkway, then it can be easily replaced with guardrails. 

In Malaysian environment, weather is a nuisance. There are times when it rains so heavily, causing flash floods ; and there are also times when there is not a single drop of rain for weeks. 

Cambered asphaltic concrete road (A) allows fast flow of water off the road surface.  If the surface water are directed straight to the drain (C), there will be minimal water seepage through the green area.

However, if the green areas are designed conclave to trap water (B), not too much of course, just enough for some water to seep into the ground and thus more water available for trees and shrubs. 

The water from watering tank during dry spell too will be more effectively seep into the soil, mineral soils especially. In addition, it also trap the fertilizer from being easily washed away.