Maui November 2012 Trip #1
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     Home        Part 1: Coastal Plants        Part 2: Haleakala Subalpine        Part 3: Drift Seeds        Part 4: Insects & Spiders  
Part 1: West Maui Coastal Plants
© W.P. Armstrong 28 November 2012

Aerial view of the west coast of Maui near Kahana. Nikon D-40x.

The epiphytic South American cactus Hylocereus undatus with pendant aerial roots hanging from the limbs of a large rain tree (Samanea saman). This cactus is the source of the edible fruits known as dragon fruit, a popular fruit grown in Thailand. Sony HX9V.

  Edible Stems & Fruits Of Cactaceae  

Lahaina's Huge Banyan Fig (Ficus benghalensis)

An enormous specimen tree of the Indian banyan fig (Ficus benghalensis). This remarkable tree covers nearly an acre with numerous prop roots, each the size of an average tree trunk. Sony HX9V.

Flower-bearing syconia of the Indian banyan (Ficus benghalensis). If pollinated by symbiotic wasps that enter the syconium, the minute ovaries of the flowers will produce seeds. Another Indian species (F. mysorensis) in the Palomar Collge Arboretum has similar red syconia, but the leaf venation is much different. Sony HX9V.

Stranglers & Banyans Of The Rain Forest
  Coevolution Of The Fig & Its Symbiotic Wasp  

Plants Around Lahaina

Close-up view of the stem of a whisk fern (Psilotum nudum), a primitive vascular plant bearing 3-lobed sporangia. Plants such as this (including related treelike forms as tall as telephone poles) were abundant in ancient swamps 300 million years ago, long before the age of dinosaurs. Sony T9.

  Divisions (Phyla) Within The Plant Kingdom  

Indian mulberry or "noni" (Morinda citrifolia). The immature green fruit is a multiple fruit or syncarp composed of numerous, fused, separate ovaries, each produced by a separate flower. Each section or hexagonal marking on the mature, yellowish-white fruit (left) represents the place where a flower was once attached. Sony T9.

  Noni (Morinda citrifolia): A Member Of The Madder Family (Rubiaceae)  

Pitch apple (Clusia rosea) on the grounds of the Hyatt Regency Resort. Sony HX9V.

Pitch apple (Clusia rosea) on the Island of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Although it resembles strangler figs of the genus (Ficus), Clusia belongs to an entirely different tropical plant family, the Guttiferae. It has attractive pinkish-white blossoms followed by sticky, resinous fruits. The large object at the top of left photo is a termite nest. 35mm Nikon F-2.

  Clusia rosea: A Strangler That Is Not A Fig  
Read About Pitch Apple In Resins & Waxes Article

Coprosma: A cultivated shrub in the madder family (Rubiaceae), along with coffee and noni. Several are native to the Hawaiian Islands; however, most species are native to New Zealand. Sony T9.

An older blossom of beach hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus) on a woven poolside chair at the Hyatt Regency Resort. Young blossoms are bright yellow and turn pinkish-red with age. Bast fibers in the bark are used for cordage, mats and "grass" skirts in the tropical Pacific region. Another Hawaiian "beach hibiscus" called milo (Thespesia populnea) is used for beautiful hardwood carvings. Sony T9.

  Beach Hibiscus: Important Fiber Plant In The Mallow Family  
Milo: A Beautiful Hardwood Shrub In The Hawaiian Islands