Archive | May 2013

‘Aka’aka’awa refugium


Studia Mirabilium

akaakaawaI was super excited to finally come across this cool native plant. This is the sole native begonia to Hawai’i: ‘Aka’aka’awa (Hillebrandia sandwicensis). I personally like to say it in the same cadence as the name of a certain young mongoose in a certain Rudyard Kipling story. This plant is currently only found on Kaua’i, Maui and Molokai. Hillebrand (for whom the plant is named) recorded it once back in the 1880’s on Mt. Ka’ala on O’ahu.

The genetics (Clement, 2004) seem to show that this plant may have quite the story to tell. For ‘Aka’aka’awa maybe the last of its line, one whose unique evolutionary history may stretch back to just after the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs. Some advertisers have it wrong. Move over cycads… ‘Aka’aka’awa is the true prehistoric plant of Hawai’i.

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What’stomata with you?


Click here to contact SoundEagleSoundEagle says:

Click here to contact SoundEagleadelecmj states: “This picture also illustrates why I’m rambling about these cute little things. My MSc research project is focussed on better understanding how stomata develop in Begonia and so, for the next 2-3 months I’ll be eating, breathing and living stomata science.”

 

Plants in real life

Tiny little mouths. Swarms of them on every leaf, gaping wide open or clamping shut in order to keep their plants alive. They’re called stomata and help prevent plants from losing so much water that they dehydrate whilst allowing enough carbon dioxide into leaves that they can continue the amazing job of making their own food from what is essentially fresh air, water and sunshine. They allow plants to live on land and do things like survive droughts or forgetful gardeners and could play a big part in aiding adaptation to climate change, making them topical and important.

So, what actually are these mysterious structures? They’re basically pores on the surface of plants that let air in and out. One stoma comprises of two guard cells which control how open the pore is, an air cavity underneath that and, sometimes, a whole lovely bunch of other cells and maybe…

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Mother’s Day in 2013


Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is a celebration honouring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society.

 

Begonia: “Be Cautious and Fanciful”


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Begonia Beauties


 

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