Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tropical rainforest flowers

Here are some white hairy flowers that I saw in the rainforest of Klasow valley when I was guiding a Dutch tourist. I still do not know its species name. Klasow valley is a highly recommended tourist destination for visitors who want to see wildflowers that grow in lowland region of West Papua province of Indonesia.

There are a lot of species of flowers in tropical rainforest. When the flowers bloom in the morning, sun light warm them. As a result their fragrances are spread throughout the jungle. These attract butterflies, birds and insects come to eat their nectar. Flowers in the low elevation forest are different from the ones growing in high elevation. Many trees also produce flowers. There are some species that attracted me most. The first flower is Barringtonia Asiatica and the second one is Ntam (a local name). Barringtonia flower is unique because it is more "hairy." The hair actually is the filaments of the flower that are dominated by white and pink colors. The petals are white covering the filaments. Although this flower looks beautiful, it will be a deadly fruit one day. The fruit from barringtonia asiatica is usually used by coastal villagers to poison fish in the reef. An adult barringtonia asiatica plant is a big tree. This tree can be found growing along the beach. The extract liquid from the seed of barringtonia asiatica's fruit can be used to kill louse that likes to infest on the head of children.
High elevation tropical rainforest flowers have unique forms and beautiful colors. In big cities, people decorate their houses with flowers both indoors and outdoors. But the indigenous Papuan people in New Guinea island often use flowers to cure various kinds of tropical diseases such as malaria, and coughs.
Rainforest flower as medicinal herbs
Ntam flower
For example, Ntam flower in Kwau village of Arfak mountains is used by the villagers to cure skin disease. The flower is powerful in killing bactera and skin fungus. People with skin diseases only need to rub their skins that flowers from Ntam plants.  In Kwau village, a Papuan named Yatinus is an expert in herbal medicine from Arfak mountains. He is often called by people from neighboring villages to cure their diseases. So, rainforest is not only important for absorbing CO2 gases or carbon storage but also for providing medicinal flowers.
Wednesday 4 July 2012 Update:
Someone named Angela Mac Millan contacted me by email and told me that the above flower is called "Papua New Guinean impatients" or Impatiens hawkeri.  Thanks, Angela. I hope that one day you can visit West Papua of Indonesia. by Charles Roring

Traveling to Manokwari
If you are interested in traveling to Manokwari and need a private guide, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

February 5, 2016 Update:
In addition to taking pictures of flowers in the wild, I also like to draw or make illustration of flowers both manually on paper and watercolor pencil media or on a digital artwork. Below is a digital illustration of hibiscus flower and birdwing butterfly which I made using Inkscape software.