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Our Hawaiian jungle

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Carlo Morici

Bo's natural forest in the wet side of Hawaii can be correctly called a true rainforest. A true rainforest is also the one in Amazonia, but as you all see a "rainforest" can be any forests with high and continuous rainfall. From a scientific point of view we need quite a few more words to describe each kind of rainforest.

An interesting issue is why most Brazilian rainforests are tall and dense while Bo's Metrosideros rainforest is open and quite low, even though it is warm and wet enough, and even rainier than in many areas of Amazonia. I assume the difference is mainly due to 1) floristic composition and 2)  the soil-less geology of the recent volcanic area. If we compare the native flora of Hawaii to comparable mainland floras, we will find that it is very poor in species, as pointed before by Bo, and very disharmonic. This means that it lacks most of the plant families which generally make up a mainland rainforest, because they never reached the Hawaiian islands until man brought them. For example, Hawaii lacks Bromeliads and there are no native palms with crownshafts. As for the rocky geology, just think that Bo had to purchase many truckloads of cinder/humus.

So, that is why Bo's vegetation increases so much in size (and height, weight, leaf area, etc.) when someone brings in soil and add bromeliads, palms with crownshafts and many other plants of the lacking families.

Carlo

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amazondk

Jake,

Thanks for the definition.  What we have here for the most part in our area is a Tropical Humid Forest.  And, it is of for the most part low land.  We have basically three types of forest groups, Terra Firme (areas which never are flooded), Varzea (areas seasonally flooded by the muddy water rivers coming from the Andes or the Guiana Sheild), and Igapoo (flooded forests along black, blue, or green water rivers) Within the Terra Firme forest we have 3 zones, plateau, slope, low land.  Here arond Manaus it is quite hilly and a rise or fall of 30 meters makes a big difference in the kind of vegetation to be found.  What I find amazing is how in a space of 1000 meters in the Terra Firme forest the composition can change so much.  Tree species tend to be grouped somewhat.  We also have large areas in some parts, principally the Negro River basin of dawrf forest on sandy soil called Campina.  These areas do not support trees much larger than 10 meters or so.  Then there is the northern border with Colombia and Venezuela where the mountains climb up to over 3,000 meters, the highest point in Brazil is there, Pico da Neblina.  I have only flown over the area, but it looks magnificent.  Since our state, Amazonas is somewhere near the size of Western Europe there is a lot of forest to see.

Back to the definition of rainforest.  I guess the word has taken on a meaing for most people of any tropical forest.  One thing for sure, the Rainforest Cafe does not look much like a rainforest.

dk

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JakeK

(amazondk @ Jul. 20 2006,07:17)

QUOTE
Jake,

Thanks for the definition.  What we have here for the most part in our area is a Tropical Humid Forest.  And, it is of for the most part low land.  We have basically three types of forest groups, Terra Firme (areas which never are flooded), Varzea (areas seasonally flooded by the muddy water rivers coming from the Andes or the Guiana Sheild), and Igapoo (flooded forests along black, blue, or green water rivers) Within the Terra Firme forest we have 3 zones, plateau, slope, low land.  Here arond Manaus it is quite hilly and a rise or fall of 30 meters makes a big difference in the kind of vegetation to be found.  What I find amazing is how in a space of 1000 meters in the Terra Firme forest the composition can change so much.  Tree species tend to be grouped somewhat.  We also have large areas in some parts, principally the Negro River basin of dawrf forest on sandy soil called Campina.  These areas do not support trees much larger than 10 meters or so.  Then there is the northern border with Colombia and Venezuela where the mountains climb up to over 3,000 meters, the highest point in Brazil is there, Pico da Neblina.  I have only flown over the area, but it looks magnificent.  Since our state, Amazonas is somewhere near the size of Western Europe there is a lot of forest to see.

Back to the definition of rainforest.  I guess the word has taken on a meaing for most people of any tropical forest.  One thing for sure, the Rainforest Cafe does not look much like a rainforest.

dk

Don,

I have noticed the same variations in tree density and abundance/lacking of biodiversity within sight of each other in Mexico and in Costa Rica. I have even seen it in extremely wet places like Tortuguero in Costa Rica which generally receives upwards of 8000mm of rainfall.

It looks like I might get the chance to visit the Amazon within the next 2 years, but probably in Peru vs. Brazil as I will be doing hiking in the Andes in Peru and Bolivia. I am really looking forward to that trip.

Jake

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amazondk

Jake that sounds like a nice trip.  The first time I entered the Amzonian forest was in Bolivia in 1972.  I hired a guide for 1 dollar a day and went two days into the bush to see some indians.  When we got there only 1 family was left, the rest of the tribe had left as they thought there was too much traffic on the trail.  I was pretty close to where they shot Che Guevara.  It was an interesting experience for a young guy from Montana.

Back to Hawaii, I definately have to go back there and see the forest and the palm collections.  

dk

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Robert Lee Riffle

Don--

What is "the Rainforest Cafe?"

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spockvr6

(Robert Lee Riffle @ Jul. 20 2006,16:02)

QUOTE
Don--

What is "the Rainforest Cafe?"

Bob-

Its a restaurant chain of all things!

http://rainforestcafe.com/

If you ever get down to the Sawgrass Mills Mall (by I75 and Sunrise in Broward), you can dine at one.  Perhaps they may not be an acurate representation of a real rainforest, but they sure do pack the crowds in.

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Robert Lee Riffle

I had no idea, Larry.  I'm afraid almost all my knowledge of Broward County centers around Flamingo Gardens and the big growers in the Davie area.  I note from the link you posted that it's nationwide, including TX--not in Houston, else I'd have known about it I think.

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bgl

We had the roof of our pavilion powerwashed today, and since the ladder was conveniently there, it gave me the opportunity to take a few photos from an unusual angle. Here's one of them. I am about 22-23 ft above ground (i.e. the camera is), the rockwall you see is 10 ft tall. The taller palms with the keylime colored crownshafts are (of course) Clinostigma samoense. Lower left corner: Joey altifrons. Fronds on the right belong to two Metroxylon warburgii. Semi-tall palm in the background, just to the right of the Clinostigma in the middle is a Roystonea oleracea, and all the lower palms in front of it (i.e. just "above" the rockwall) are Mauritiella armata.

post-22-1153470664_thumb.jpg

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bgl

And the pavilion is just barely visible in this photo (a little bit to the left) with the red ladder! Other than the Bismarckias there's a Dypsis bejofo on the right (taller palm) and in the lower right is one of the Dypsis "dark mealybug" that was discussed in a different thread.

post-22-1153470797_thumb.jpg

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RainForestt Robert

Bo, I know that this may be considered off topic, but I notice a few cycads in the photos.  Is this one of your passions also, or just companion plants?

Robert

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Dave Butler

(bgl @ Jul. 21 2006,04:33)

QUOTE
And the pavilion is just barely visible in this photo (a little bit to the left) with the red ladder! Other than the Bismarckias there's a Dypsis bejofo on the right (taller palm) and in the lower right is one of the Dypsis "dark mealybug" that was discussed in a different thread.

Thats a great photo, postcard perfect :D

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Guest

Posted by Gileno Machado

Bo:

Thanks for the continuing delightful tour of your property.

Since you mentioned the Metroxylon warburgii but we don't see much of it in your photo, I was going to ask you to show us detailed pictures of these palms, and also some cultivation observations, if you don't mind. Last month I received a few big seeds of this species coming from Samoa and luckily 3 of them have sprouted strongly by now, and maybe also another one that I gave to a friend, Acácio. Mine are still in 35 cm tall plastic wide pots, growing up like crazy and I used natural soil without any fert, as recommended. The person who sent me these seeds said that they came from a different variety of the species, which shows new reddish fronds when young. Does this happen to your palms too? How old are they? How about the space between plants to be previewed when planting them in the ground. I've read that M. warburgii is the smallest species in the Genus, but how small? and how about the expected lifespam until it flowers/dies?

Grato for any additional info.

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Kathy

(Dypsisdean @ Jul. 18 2006,17:01)

QUOTE
In contrast, a Hawaiian forest (especially on most parts of the Big Island) is a newborn. As you mentioned, yours is 300 years old. Mine is 1000-2000 years old....

And as you know, the ohi'a is the tree that will dominate young forest for thousands of years. It is the first tree to populate a fresh lava flow. ....So if Robert wished to stand in a Hawaiian rainforest and see no sky, he would have to stand in a much older one (as on the older islands), and even then it would appear much different than the Amazon basin.

I too have noticed vast differences between the islands, from oldest (Kauai and the islands beyond it, mostly eroded) and the "Big Island."  Hiking the Napali coast (the Kalalau trail of Kauai) I remember quite a bit of diversity, fermenting fruit everywhere on the forest floor, floral explosions of ginger and other, bamboo stands with culms the girth of a weightlifter, and of course palms....sadly my photos from that day-long hike were lost by the developing company (pre-digital for me).  That virgin forest looks nothing like the virgin forest photos here from newer lava flows.

I also remember camping as a young kid in Washington, and my parents saying "we're going to be camping in the rainforest," and I was so shocked that there were no palm trees!  Of course there were ferns and moss dripping everywhere among giant and ancient redwoods.

Bo, you are truly creating a paradise.  We will never tire of the photos and you are educating many here.

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bgl

Robert, Dave, Gileno and Kathy, thanks for your comments!

Robert (Trinidad Bob),

I'm definitely very much interested in cycads, and they're much more than companion plants, as far as I'm concerned. I think I'll start a new thread in the 'Tropical Plants Other than Palms" section. That'll be in a couple of hours. Heading out to do some work in the garden right now!

And Gileno,

I'll post some Metroxylon photos in a few hours. Again, I'll start a new thread for that so that the info & photos won't be "lost" in this thread!

Bo

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bgl

Gileno,

As promised I'm starting a new (Metroxylon) thread in just a minute or so, but I felt one photo (well, actually two, but this one is only leading up to the "real" thing!) was more suitable for this thread. I've named our various foot paths and driveways, so I felt it only appropriate to first show this photo:

post-22-1153523166_thumb.jpg

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bgl

And "Metroxylon Avenue" itself. The first couple of Metroxylons on the left are M. amicarum, the others are M. warburgii. There are also a few M. vitiense further down on the right (not visible in the photo)

post-22-1153523249_thumb.jpg

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amazondk

Bo,

You have a great garden.   I hope I can someday make an Amzonian variety of one.  

Regarding the rainforest cafe maybe I should suggest to the owners that they add some biting ants and biting blood sucking  flies to make it more realistic.    Around our rainforest here the moment you light up a fire to make food you get attacked by these biting flies called mutucas.  

dk

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doranakandawatta

I believe other new members like me will enjoy reading this thread I took from google and hope for the next season!

Many thanks Bo, looking forward seeing new posts.

Kindest regards

Philippe

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Funkthulhu

Well, that was a seven year bump!

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doranakandawatta

Yes, palms must have grown since that time!

And sadly we can see "in Memoriam" in the thread, but it's a way of remembering these friends older Palmtalk members knew. ( I am too new member)

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doranakandawatta

Can we see again your "Kerriodoxa Valley", Bo? It 's such a lovely place !

Who else can show a "Kerriodoxa Valley" ??!!

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Zeeth

What ever happened to the unidentified Euterpe?

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bgl

Philippe,

Wow, this was a LONG time ago! :) But thanks for bumping this thread. However, I have no up-to-date photos of Kerriodoxa Valley (or for the matter new photos of any of the other areas posted in this thread). This is my old garden, and Karolyn (KPL here on PalmTalk) has the garden now.

Zeeth, in what post is that Euterpe you're referring to?

Bo-Göran

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Zeeth

Thanks friends for the great posts...Living and learning (and enjoying) with you guys here on a daily basis...

Here are my 2 centavos:

As Don mentioned, the Atlantic forest ecosystem existing in Brazil is very widespread and extremely diversified, stretched north-south along more than 4000 Km along the coast...Here in Northeast we've lost most parts of it in the last 500 years to sugar cane plantations and cattle ranches and now there's a government program to replant the forest along the rivers and create corridors between the few largest areas still preserved, in order to ensure isolated animal and plants contacts and dispersal.

The exploitation of the Atlantic forest started in 1501 (one year after the discovery) and the first target was the tree that gave its name to the Country (Pau-brasil) "Caesalpinia echinata", which became one of the most important commodities in the XVI century for the production of red ink and also for the quality of the hard wood. The Portuguese rullers, afraid of the growing interest of the British, French and Dutch pirates for the logging of Pau-brasil decided to selectively clear off the coast by removing all the large trees and starting the plantation of sugar cane brought from Arabia and acclimated in the Azores. The few remaining untouched parts of the Atlantic forest in my State (5% of the original) occur in the most unaccessable hiltop areas and mangrove boundaries where the agricultural mechanized techniques could never be satisfactorily employed. I've been to some ancient pristine forest reserves around here that still show the incredible diversity of plants and animals of all genera, unparalleled elsewhere in the planet. The tall canopy of the "favinhas", to more than 35 m tall, cover the several levels below, one ecosystem in each "floor", with very specialized plants, insects, birds, reptiles and mammals co-existing in harmony...Last year alone, the Biologists in the local University have identified 2 unknown new species of small monkeys (Calynthrix) among several other animals and plants. I have spotted myself what I believe it's a new species of Palm, pictured below, a solitary type of Euterpe, which I named Santa Rita, not mentioned in botanic books yet, and I've managed to germinate some seeds and plan to intoduce in cultivation...and there's still a lot to be properly cataloged.

As a final comment, I'd say that probably any tropical environment with more than 1800 mm of annual rainfall will sooner or later develop a dense forest naturally, ever after a natural or man made clearing. Bo's natural backyard in Hilo looks superb and Don's Climax forest (loved that term !) around Manaus is worth visiting at least once in a lifetime...

Euterpe sp nova:

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bgl

Zeeth,

I'm afraid I have no idea, and since that post is now shown as added by "Guest" I don't even know who posted it!

Bo-Göran

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Kennybenjamin

Can we see again your "Kerriodoxa Valley", Bo? It 's such a lovely place !

Who else can show a "Kerriodoxa Valley" ??!!

I can oblige with this request.

Photos taken 8 months ago with Karolyn.

post-6412-0-19398600-1372470557_thumb.jp post-6412-0-41554200-1372470598_thumb.jp

And just for good measure.... one of my favourite photos from this garden....

post-6412-0-45555100-1372470864_thumb.jp

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Cedric

Wow what an absolutely gorgeous garden. The planting is so spot on too it all looks so natural and in keeping with the area, nary a jarring moment. Im assuming these are deep rich volcanic soils that have weathered over a very long time into super soil.

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doranakandawatta

Many thanks Benjamin, these pics are wonderful.

This Verschaffeltia grove is very impressive!

It must be a great day in Karolyn's garden!

Thank you again.

Philippe

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Hammer

Can we see again your "Kerriodoxa Valley", Bo? It 's such a lovely place !

Who else can show a "Kerriodoxa Valley" ??!!

I can oblige with this request.

Photos taken 8 months ago with Karolyn.

096 (1280x853).jpg 098 (1280x853).jpg

And just for good measure.... one of my favourite photos from this garden....

089 (1280x853).jpg

Wow that third photo is magical. Absolutely love it. The stilt roots the path with the fork in the road. All the color and texture. So tastefully done.

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Hammer

We had the roof of our pavilion powerwashed today, and since the ladder was conveniently there, it gave me the opportunity to take a few photos from an unusual angle. Here's one of them. I am about 22-23 ft above ground (i.e. the camera is), the rockwall you see is 10 ft tall. The taller palms with the keylime colored crownshafts are (of course) Clinostigma samoense. Lower left corner: Joey altifrons. Fronds on the right belong to two Metroxylon warburgii. Semi-tall palm in the background, just to the right of the Clinostigma in the middle is a Roystonea oleracea, and all the lower palms in front of it (i.e. just "above" the rockwall) are Mauritiella armata.

Bo, I love the garden. I'm very glad this thread got bumped. I have so many questions , which I will save for the palmy event where I see you. Except for one...did you build the rock wall yourself? That is the hardscape look I want to mimic in my garden and would love to get a few pointers from you.

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bgl

Thanks guys! :) The rockwalls were all built by guys from Tonga, headed by Lakina ("Kinna"), who went on to build rockwalls for a number of other Palm Society members here on the Hilo side. Lots of people here build rockwalls but it takes real skill to build a good quality rockwall and Kinna is a real artist when it comes to the design and construction.

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Gbarce

Your Kerriodoxa Valley is magical! Now I wish I had more !

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Hammer

Thanks guys! :) The rockwalls were all built by guys from Tonga, headed by Lakina ("Kinna"), who went on to build rockwalls for a number of other Palm Society members here on the Hilo side. Lots of people here build rockwalls but it takes real skill to build a good quality rockwall and Kinna is a real artist when it comes to the design and construction.

Sounds like I need to locate Kinna next time he is in California! :) Very skilled at his craft. Well done Bo.

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