Plants from Tissue Culture

In the last two years we have discovered the world of tissue culture plants and now instead of searching for a $7-12 plant and growing it up and splitting it into two plants in three years, we are importing small cloned plants. They cost 30-75¢ each and we can get 72 at a time. We are growing these up for use in the next year or two in landscaping around Iraivan temple. Herewith a small selection.

Giant Orchid in Bloom

Walking along San Marga, one encounters many living creatures, not the least of which is this Grammatophyllum orchid, a baby that will grow to be a giant in the decades ahead. It has an interesting rooting habit, grabbing onto the tree's trunk and forming a nest of white, upward thrusting roots which trap the debris from the tree and feed on it. They do not like to live on the ground.

Our Picture-Perfect Pali

For those unaware, the Monastery recently acquired an official 65 year lease for the small section of state land, which surrounds this unique section of the Wailua. "Pali" means "cliff" in Hawaiian. This large dip in the land is a well-known part of what makes many of our daily visitors so awestruck by the Aadheenam's beauty. The naturally river flows into this basin, which happens to be a giant lava tube. To get an idea of its depth, take the distance from the surface of the water to the treetops and multiply it by two and a half. After that it splits into several tubes which go even further down. Here are a few photos of this unusual spot.

Siva’s Sacred Garden

Some great little botanical gems blooming in the garden today. We particularly focus on the new family of plants recently brought in from a Kauai collector--the cycads. These are among the most ancient plant lineages on earth, dating back some 230 million years. When we got a few dozen of them a few months back, we thought it would be a couple of years before they recovered and bloomed. But no, last month it began right outside the new Media Studio.

The name is derived from the Greek articles "en", meaning "in", "cephale", meaning "head", and "artos", meaning "bread".

This Encepholartus whitlockii started sprouting three cones, which became giants within three weeks, then the fronds started to appear.

We just learned today that foods derived from this plant are common in India. here is the Wikipedia description:

Cycad meal known as Eenthu in Malayalam is a common food in Kerala. Traditionally, the seeds were sliced and kept in direct sunlight or near the hearth during rainy season to promote drying.

The drying process is carried out to reduce the toxin levels and as a means of preservation. The outer shell is subsequently removed and inner portion is ground into a flour. Properly dried cycad seed flour may be stored for several years without deterioration.

Food items like Puttu, Eenthu kanji, Eenthu payasam etc. are made out of cycad seed powder.These food items are particularly prepared in heavy rainy seasons in Kerala.

Enjoy the slideshow....

Flowers in Our Garden

Today we offer some photographs of a few of the beautiful flowers blooming in our Gardens. As Orchids are the most diverse species of flower, they offer a beautiful array of variation throughout the year.

"The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers." Rabindranath Tagore

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