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 Post subject: Anybody know this fruit?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 11:22 am 
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Hello everybody,

While taking pictures around Lamma Island, I came across these amazing-looking fruits on a tree besides the road, halfway up to Tai Peng.

Does anybody know what they are called, in English or Chinese? Are they edible? What can they be used for? Any info would be most welcome.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 9:27 pm 
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The tree bearing the fruit is Sterculia lanceolata - the "common name" is given as Scarlet Sterculia, but that doesn't sound much commoner than the Latin name. There are descriptions and pictures (not quite as good as yours) in two Urban Council books, Hong Kong Trees, by S.L. Thrower and Hong Kong Fruits and Seeds byT.C Godfrey.

There seem to be a number of these native trees on the path up to Tai Peng, the biggest just behind the "bus shelter" - there are also quite a lot around the Peak area.

Zep


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 Post subject: Thanks alot!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 10:39 pm 
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zep wrote:
The tree bearing the fruit is Sterculia lanceolata - the "common name" is given as Scarlet Sterculia, but that doesn't sound much commoner than the Latin name. There are descriptions and pictures (not quite as good as yours) in two Urban Council books, Hong Kong Trees, by S.L. Thrower and Hong Kong Fruits and Seeds byT.C Godfrey.

There seem to be a number of these native trees on the path up to Tai Peng, the biggest just behind the "bus shelter" - there are also quite a lot around the Peak area.

Thanks alot for this great and comprehensive answer, Zep!

This is most helpful; now I've got a name and can find out more by doing some online research. The tree is indeed the one near the bus shelter! I was crawling under it for almost half an hour to take these pictures with zoom and flash. Passersby looked at me funny and must have been thinking Crazy tourist! or Chi Seen Gwailo!...

You must live in Tai Peng and know the neighbourhood really well! Maybe you can point out a few more "sightseeing spots" for the botanic tourist in your area?

Thanks as well for the book references. I might have seen Hong Kong Trees in our little Lamma Library, but I haven't heard of the other one yet by T.C. Godfrey. :huh:
Got to get it, probably in the new Central Library near Victoria Park?

I've just recently moved to Lamma and am constantly amazed by the incredible subtropical vegetation around here. So many domestic pot plants growing wild to amazing heights. 5m high poinsettias!

I take lots of pictures, but I often have no idea what the trees, fruits or flowers are called. Here are a few more photo samples.
The first one was also taken on same day as the Scarlet Sterculia. It's so common here. but what is its correct name in English? I didn't take enough notes in undergraduate botany. Click for larger pictures:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2002 10:43 pm 
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The red flower is a Hibscus - lots of varieties in Lamma gardens - nice picture. Not sure about the others, except for the banana and the pawpaw. I assume one of the others is a jak fruit - I've seen them growing in the gardens on top of Pak Kok village. And another looks like the huge Eucalyptus on the Tai Peng path.

Interesting that so many trees planted here seem to be from Australia or other places outside Hong Kong or the East Asian region. I'm not a botanist, by the way. If there are any real ones out there maybe they can put me right.

Chi Sin Gweilou? No, I think it was worth the embarrassment for the fine pictures!

Zep


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 Post subject: Thanks alot!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2002 11:55 pm 
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Thanks for your help, Zep!

Your comments were most helpful!

I did a bit of online research after you told me the name of the Scarlet Sterculia (cool name! It would make a good username on this forum) and found quite a lot!

I've been thinking of changing my avatar (the little picture on the left) to the Hibiscus blossom above, with my initials added (L-G for Lamma-Gung):

Image

What do you think? Maybe a bit too sissy for a grumpy gnome like myself (see left)? :lol:

I love flowers but couldn't admit this in a pub... :oops:
<HR>
By the way, what does Zep stand for? Zeppelin? If yes, here's a great avatar you could use:

Image
<HR>
Going to Hung Shing Ye for lunch yesterday, I've shot another two rolls of film. I wonder what the results will be.

Digital photos would be easier, cheaper and so much faster, but I haven't found a digital camera yet that's as good, powerful and cheap as my stone-age SLR 180mm zoom camera. I've used three generations of digicams since about 1995 (Apple Quicktake, anyone?). But their quality is still not good enough for professional use, except you're willing to pay far beyond US$1,000...

Maybe somebody here on My Lamma has a semi-professional digicam to sell for a good price? Minimum 3M pixels and 5* optical zoom...

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2002 10:57 am 
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"Zep" is in fact nothing to do with zeppelins - it's an incarnation of my own name (Geoff) as pronounced by some of my Papua New Guinean friends when I was working over there, and it stuck.

But, I've never been offered an "avatar" before, so I suppose it would be churlish to refuse! (I hadn't actually seen the word until a couple of days ago).

The Scarlet Sterculia - they seek him here, they seek him there - sounds like another good identity. If you have pictures of trees, the banyan trees - those huge fig trees with with dramatic aerial roots hanging down- would also be a good choice, as in Yung Shue Wan (= Banyan tree Bay) - there are some good specimens around Tai Peng.


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 Post subject: Your Banyan tree Avatar!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2002 2:12 pm 
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zep wrote:
But, I've never been offered an "avatar" before, so I suppose it would be churlish to refuse! (I hadn't actually seen the word until a couple of days ago).

You know where the word Avatar comes from? As a teacher, you might be interested?
It's Sanskrit (the really ancient Indian language) and means:

"In Hinduism, a manifestation on earth of a divine being.
Born independently of the cycle of life and death, an avatar enables the divine to intervene in the affairs of men and women.
The most important are the ten avatars of Vishnu, which include Krishna and Buddha."


This must be one of the very few Sanskrit-language words in computer science!
A very suitable word, especially when used for your virtual reality identity in online gaming.

Going to HK Island often feels like entering virtual reality..., leaving the "real" reality of Lamma behind. Or is it the other way round?

Could anybody enlighten us on this?

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Last edited by Lamma-Gung on Fri Aug 16, 2002 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2002 2:40 pm 
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zep wrote:
If you have pictures of trees, the banyan trees - those huge fig trees with with dramatic aerial roots hanging down- would also be a good choice, as in Yung Shue Wan (= Banyan tree Bay) - there are some good specimens around Tai Peng.

As ordered, here's your Banyan tree Avatar, shot in Tai Peng on 1 Aug. I've added it to our public Lamma Avatars gallery, so you can simply choose it from your Profile.

Click it for a wallpaper-sized version:   Image

But, actually, I like your Zeppelin better. It's a very clean and distinctive icon with a mystical dimension (dream of flying), and tragedy as well (Hindenburg).

On a personal note,I remember my father telling me a story of the very first Zeppelins flying in the German skies.
My father went to primary school in Southern Germany before World War II.
(He was not German, but his father had emigrated to Germany long before.
My father then emigrated from Germany at the end of the war, still just a teenager,
and I emigrated much later to HK. A family of perennial emigrants...).


One day, one of the new, huge Zeppelins was floating by the windows of his school during class, coming from the closeby Zeppelin factory in Friedrichshafen.
All the children were running to the class room windows, unstoppable by their teacher, amazed and excited, gawking at this new wonder in the sky, the pride of the nation and a symbol of German ingenuity...
It was one of my father's most vivid childhood memories...

By the way, they're starting to build new Zeppelins today (filled with helium instead of hydrogen, of course). They're much larger than the little blimp cruising above HK quite a while ago.
For more info, if anybody cares, here's a link to the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen.

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 Post subject: Your Banyan tree Avatar!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 8:40 pm 
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Actually the photo is not of a banyan tree. The big mutilated tree outside the Regent Store is a Ficus Elastica (Indian Rubber Tree). Same family but a bit different.
John.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 2:06 pm 
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One further note regarding the STERCULIA LANCEOLATA the males open much earlier in the year than the females.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 10:24 am 
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Thanks Sid for that - i didn't realise that there were male flowers on the same tree until you mentioned it. I've searched but can't find any - probably becuase they are earlier as you mention. I did notice a good covering of (female) flowers in early spring though and was waiting for the first scarlet fruits to appear.

Perversely, the large Sterculia behind the "bus shelter" on the way up Tai Peng Hill has started to shed its leaves in the middle of summer. I did notice a few scarlet fruits appearing, though, next to the path from Pak Kok village to the Pak Kok point.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 4:23 pm 
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The Sterculias are fruiting again all over the island right now. Here's one in the jungle above the first phase of the harbour reclamation:

<img src="http://www.lamma.com.hk/forum/images/e-zine/23/Hike-DSC02975b.jpg" border=1>

This Sterculia fruits topic was one of the very first on Lamma.com.hk, soon after it started on July 23, 2002. Almost one year later now, first anniversary coming up...

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 Post subject: Sterculia
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:11 pm 
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The name Sterculia sticks in the mind thanks to Lamma-Gung's publicising the scarlet fruits of our native variety. So I was interested to see this tree - another and quite different species of Sterculia, in the Brisbane botanical gardens.

<img src="http://www.compunicate.com/Lamma/29/Sterculia-sp-tn.jpg" border=1>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:57 am 
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This is one of the oldest topics in this forum. I started it almost 7 years ago as "Anybody know this fruit?", just a few weeks after the forum opened on July 23, 2002.

The Scarlet Sterculia (Sterculia Lanceolata) fruits are ripe once again!

They look so much like dates, it's tempting to try one. In the 7 years of this topic we haven't established yet if these are edible for humans!
Some birds seem to like them and being on a high-fruit diet myself I wouldn't mind expanding the range of fruits species to enjoy in my müesli...

These photos were taken this early morning on the top of the Snake Path to the windturbine, in Tai Ling. This is easy to get to in under 10 minutes, as it's just a 12 minute walk from Main Street to Lamma Winds.
Sorry for flashing this fruit, but it was shot from below inside the dark bushes, in-between several huge Woodland Spider webs...


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File comment: Sterculia Lanceolata
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File comment: Sterculia Lanceolata
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:46 am 
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I've just found this fruit in the Lamma Forest above Pak Kok Village. I don't recall ever seeing one like this before, it's 11 inches long!

Anybody got an idea what it is?

I wonder if I can get this fruit to grow in my new rooftop garden?


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!DSC05675-b.jpg [ 17.18 KiB | Viewed 1947 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:19 pm 
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An Alert Reader and nature lover has just replied to my query:

"Did you know the pods in the middle image of your story 'Harvest Season in the Lamma Forest' possibly contains poisonous seeds? if indeed it is the same plant ... From Hong Kong Shrubs (Hong Kong, 1976), p. 93:

Strophanthus divaricatus
Common name: Goat's Horns


'The seeds of this species are probably very poisonous as other related tropical species yield an active poison, strophanthine, which has been used for poisoning arrows.'

and from http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:gTtlzhQuabUJ:www.hkmj.org/article_pdfs/hkm0810p405.pdf+Strophanthus+divaricatus+toxic&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=hk&client=firefox-a:

'Besides Rhododendron, more than 100 toxic plants have been identified in Hong Kong and some are extremely poisonous. Among them, Datura metel (洋金花), Strophanthus divaricatus (羊角拗), Gelsemium elegans (斷腸草) and Strychnos angustiflora (馬錢子) are collectively known as the ‘Top Four Toxic Plants’ (四大毒草) in Hong Kong.' See below.

(at least three of which are found on Lamma! Not sure about Gelsemium Elegans.)"


After this email, I couldn't resist to open my Goat's Horns seed pod, of course. I compared the look of the leaves with some Internet photos of Goat's Horns and it's this exact plant alright, but it's not ripe yet and the seeds haven't fully formed yet, it seems.

A really nice discovery in the Lamma Forest! Has anybody has seen this somewhere else on Lamma, easy to spot as they grow so huge, mine is over 11 inches long. Fortunately, I resisted the temptation to taste this seed pod, one of the ‘Top Four Toxic Plants of HK'!


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Top-4-Toxic-Plants-HK.jpg
Top-4-Toxic-Plants-HK.jpg [ 32.35 KiB | Viewed 1889 times ]
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!DSC_6701.jpg [ 73.7 KiB | Viewed 1893 times ]

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:49 am 
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It's prime growing and bug season, but we're getting so few Flora & Fauna pictures these days.
Whatever happened to anonymous_guy, Zep, Harry_Li & friends? All of them too busy to shoot wildlife these days? :)

Show off your best shots in this Flora & Fauna forum to your fellow Lammaites!


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File comment: Sterculia Lanceolata, close to Basketball Court
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L-G-!DSC06004.jpg [ 166.99 KiB | Viewed 1798 times ]

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:04 pm 
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Yes, too busy, loo lazy (insert more excuses here) and it's just too hot! However, point taken. We'll be out and about when the weather gets a bit cooler. More people taking photos of wildlife would be good too.

I did hear a rumour of an exciting new bird in Yung Shue Long valley, never before photographed in this forum, so keep an eye open for news.

Meanwhile, to keep the pot boiling, here is a picture of a frangipani I grew from seed I gathered from that old tree that had dark red flowers at the bottom of Yung Shue Long valley opposite the current waste tip, (the tree is, alas, no more). The seeds were planted 3 or 4 years ago and this small tree is in a pot on my rooftop. I'd been waiting to see what the flowers were like as the flowers of some young trees grown from the same seeds that I gave to friends were red but had no smell (like the parent), while others were fragrant and yellow. This one is different again - the flowers are mainly white/yellow, with a beautiful pink tinge around the edges and in the centre, and a very strong sweet scent. Isn't sexual reproduction wonderful!

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